Barbara (Gail), age 86, passed away July 11, 2022 from congestive heart failure. She was born on April 30, 1936 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Winfield Blevins and Georgia Marie (Sampson) Blevins.
The Blevins’s moved from Honolulu, Hawaii to Pasadena, California when Gail and her sister, Charleen, were very young. Gail later attended Pasadena City College where she joined a sorority and enjoyed many lifelong friendships. Gail was in banking for 20 years and finished her career as a purchasing agent at Methodist Hospital in Arcadia.
Gail met her husband, Donald (Donny) in 1953 after a mutual friend arranged a blind date, although she first spied him driving the Harlan Loud Ford tow truck around town and thought he was very handsome. They fell in love and eloped to Las Vegas in 1954. The newlyweds welcomed their first son in 1956; a month after Donny was drafted into the Army and stationed away from the family in Germany for two years. When they were reunited in Monrovia again, two more sons followed in 1959 and 1961. Gail was a devoted mother to her three boys and welcomed many of their friends for family dinners. Gail and her sister, who had four boys, often got the boys together for time at the beach. The sisters and their boys were inseparable. Gail and Donny took their family on many weekend trips with the fireman “family”, including camping at Big Bear, Pismo Beach, Glamis, and many other California parks. After the boys had grown, Gail and Donny purchased a cabin in Big Bear for the family to gather. They enjoyed traveling with her sister, Charleen, and her husband, Jack Bahler, plus their best friends, Paula and Ed Heil. They had dinner together every Friday night for years and referred to their group as the “Big 6.”
Gail and Donny lived in Monrovia for 32 years before moving to beautiful Washington State. After visiting Whidbey Island with several other Pasadena Fire Department retirees, a group of them relocated to the island in 1990, and enjoyed a full and active retirement in Oak Harbor. Gail was known for her cooking and baking, her English Toffee was a cherished gift to friends and family, her pies were legendary, and Donny and Gail’s “fireman tacos” were a favorite family meal. Gail was an avid bowler and also enjoyed golf. She loved to garden and had many beautiful ancestral roses. She had a gift for sewing and art. She later took up crafts with several of her friends; she also enjoyed collecting stamps and coins. Gail truly enjoyed time with her grandchildren and hosted many overnight visits while they were growing up. Great memories were made with Granny and Grandpa and their house was always a special place to visit. Gail and Donny were charter members of the Whidbey Cruzers and enjoyed showing their 1940 Ford 2-door Sedan, which Donny completely restored and customized. Donny and Gail went on many trips with the group for car shows and tours of the western states.
Gail was preceded in death by her father, mother, and her husband of 68 years, Donald. Also preceding Gail in death was her beloved sister Charleen and brother-in-law Jack Bahler and her best friends Paula and Ed Heil. She is survived by her three sons, Greg (Susan), Gary (Nancy), and Doug (Liz) plus seven grandchildren, Jeremy (Lacey), Matt, Alyssa (Daniel), Tim, Gillian, Kyle, Ryan, and six great grandchildren, nephews David, Ted, and Jeff Griffin. Gail is also survived by her brother-in-law Richard (Betsy) Stultz and eight nieces and nephews.
Gail, we will all miss you dearly and will love you forever. You were a bright light to all you met. We know you are happy and reunited with Dad and your beloved friends. The Big 6 are together again forever!
A Celebration of Life will be held August 7, 2022 at the Whidbey Golf Club at 3:00 pm. The family would like to thank the staff at Regency on Whidbey for the excellent care and compassion shown to Gail during the last four months. We are very grateful that you all were there to walk alongside the family during this difficult time.