Barbara Lee Verret Spillane
Born on Feburary 8 1925 Died on August 7 2018 Aged 93, a peaceful end to a life well lived.
Barbara was preceded in death by her sister Patricia Brame and husband Jack (John J) Spillane.
She is survived by her son, John J Spillane III, his wife Donna Spillane and grandson Cody Garrett Spillane all of Coarsegold California.
Barbara was born in Santa Barbara Ca. and spent every summer of her young life in the high Sierra mountains of the Yosemite area. Her father Lee Verret was a forest ranger and mother Dorothy a photographer and adventurer. Summer life was a tent or cabin in some great spot.
Barbara met her future husband Jack at Red’s Meadow when “her cowboy” came riding into camp. They were married 57 years until Jack’s death in 2002.
Like her parents, Barbara was quite the adventuress and had been to the top of Yosemite’s famous Half Dome and to the top of 13,000 ft Mount Dana at age 7. Barbara and her sister Patricia had many horseback adventures in the high country. In 1944 Jack guided Barbara, Pat and Dorothy to the top of 11,000 ft Mammoth Mountain on horseback, long before the ski resort and with no existing trials.
After their marrage in 1945 Barbara and Jack lived on the Cristiana Ranch in Dos Palos where Jack was foreman. In 1953 they moved to the Cristiana/Skaggs ranch in Raymond a remote cattle ranch with no electicity and many miles to the nearest neighbor. The phone was a 2 way radio that everyone in the county could hear. Jack was foreman and ranch manager for the next 33 years. Barbara was the typical ranch wife riding cattle, helping with ranch work and keeping a comfortable home. It seemed normal to her after the years spent in the Sierra. The work was hard, the trials many and the money short. But the friends were true and many. Barbara was never heard to complain. Son John came in 1961 a blessing after many years of marriage.
Later Barbara worked as a secratary for Madera County Disposal and Madera Disposal Systems for many years until retirement in the early 90’s.
Barbara and Jack moved back to the “home place” in Coarsegold in 1986 proud to back on their own land and run their own cattle. Barbara continued to live at home on the ranch still offering observations and advice on the health and quality of the herd and of the horses as they made their way in sight of her porch.
Barbara was a member of the Madera County Cowbelles for many years and was Cattlewoman of the Year in 2012. Barbara and Jack were past Grand Marshalls of the Coarsegold Rodeo and the Raymond Parade.
A celebration of life honoring Barbara will be held Saturday, September 15th at 11:00 am at the Raymond Community Church in Raymond CA.
Remembrances may be made to the Coarsegold Historical Society, PO Box 117, Coarsegold, CA 93614, or at www.CoarsegoldHistoricalSociety.com.
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