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Dr. Barbara Aileen Wells Gunn
 

Memorial for Dr. Barbara Aileen Wells Gunn

Born in Independence, Oregon on Sep. 21, 1926
Departed on Mar. 28, 2017 and resided in Oak Ridge, TN.
Memorial Service: Saturday, Apr. 1, 2017
1:00 pm
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

  
Dr. Barbara Aileen Wells Gunn, 90, passed away peacefully in her own bed on March 28, 2017, in Oak Ridge, TN. Born in 1926 in Independence, Oregon, to Clifford and Olive Wells, Barbara was raised on her parents' Oregon farm and was a teenaged cherry-picking champion during harvest season in the orchards. After graduating from tiny Independence High School, she attended the University of Oregon in Eugene and met and married Pearl Harbor veteran Rex Gunn. During her senior year, she sold an article to the Saturday Evening Post, depicting the life of returned GIs who were determined to marry and start families while also finishing college on the GI Bill. Sale of the article paid summer expenses for Barbara, her husband, and their one-year-old baby after a double June 1948 graduation.
Barbara went on to earn a master's degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in sociology from Leland Stanford Junior University, adding a new baby with each degree. She was a high school counselor for several years in California's San Bernadino mountains; an agricultural extension specialist at the University of California, Davis; and for nearly thirty years, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. She retired as Professor Emerita in 1998. Barbara also served variously as a suicide prevention counselor in San Bernadino, chairperson of the Washoe County District Board of Health in Reno, and manager of a food ministry designed to distribute fresh produce to Reno's homeless.
At the age of 80, Barbara relocated to Oak Ridge to be with family. For several years, she led a writer's group at the Oak Ridge Senior Center, served on the Oak Ridge Senior Advisory Board, and contributed regularly as a guest columnist to The Oak Ridger. Many of her favorite pastimes were evident in her columns, including gardening, reading, and, the finer points of good laundering.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Clifford and Olive Wells; son, Rex Brenner Gunn; sisters, Carolyn Wells and Elaine Wells Urban; brother, David Wells; nephew, Steven Urban; and former husband, Dr. Rex Beach Gunn. She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law: Katie and Mark Bryan of Phillips, Wisconsin, and Dr. Sally and Dan Goade of Oak Ridge; grandchildren: Frank Heil of Davis, California; Julia Heil Greenspan of Aptos, California; and Jeremiah Goade of Spokane, Washington; great-grandsons: Miles and Calvin Greenspan; and nephews: Stanley, Michael, and Christopher Urban of northern California. The family extends heartfelt thanks to longtime caregiver and sidekick, Lynne Parris, and to the caring staff at Brookdale Senior Living in Oak Ridge.
All are invited to a memorial service in Barbara's honor at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at the United Church, The Chapel on the Hill, located at 85 Kentucky Ave. in Oak Ridge. A reception with light refreshments and good conversation and memories will follow. In a few months, Barbara's cremains will be inurned at the Buena Vista Cemetery, overlooking the site of the Oregon farm where she was raised.
An on-line guest book can be signed at www.weatherfordmortuary.com.

  

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