May 19, 1942 - June 08, 2020


Barbara I. Mitchell

Barbara Irene Mitchell, age 78, passed away in Livermore on June 8, 2020, from complications resulting from earlier medical interventions. Barbara was born on May 19, 1942, in Los Angeles and was a resident of Livermore since 1977. Her parents, Norman and Dorothy Forster, precede her in death. Her husband, Alex Mitchell, and daughter, Nicole Belmar, survive her. She was a devout Catholic and member of St. Michael Church. Her sensitive and caring nature found expression in many church activities. She was part of the Grief Support Ministry of St. Michael and St. Charles Borromeo for many years where she devoted herself to helping those who experienced loss of loved ones. She was a member of the Music Ministry and served as a docent leading tours at The Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. She participated in the 40 Days for Life Vigil in Walnut Creek and was part of the Walk for Life West Coast for several years. In 2017 Barbara and Alex were part of a Marian pilgrimage that included shrines in Fatima, Portugal, Spain and Lourdes, France. In 2019 they visited Poland because of Barbara’s admiration for St. Faustina Kowalska, the early twentieth century visionary and St. Pope John Paul II, who was archbishop of Krakow before becoming Pope. Barbara graduated from Downey Senior High School in 1959. She attended Mills College, Oakland, California and graduated with a BA in Art, 1963. She received an MA in Art History from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, in 1968 and a PhD in Art History from Indiana University in 1974. She taught art history at the college level over a period of ten years (1970-1980) in New York (College of Mount Saint Vincent) and California (John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill and California State University, Hayward). She received an MBA degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1982 and worked in sales management and biotechnology recruiting for several years. She then founded her own company, Life Science Resources, where she recruited scientists and managers for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies from 1992 until 2002. She took early retirement to care for her mother, Dorothy, who had moved to Livermore from southern California. Dorothy passed away at the end of 2003 at the age of 91. In her remaining years Barbara was able to combine her devotion to the Church with her love of art and art history. Historically the Church has been a major patron of the arts and Barbara gave numerous presentations on religious art at St. Michael and local parishes. The year 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of St. Michael in Livermore. Her contribution to the parish celebration was a study of the 22 stained glass windows installed in 1918. Each window names the family donating it, giving her a chance to research early families in the Livermore Valley. In addition, Barbara’s study was featured in a half hour interview on local television to discuss her work. So describes the life of a dedicated parishioner, loving wife and mother, scholar, teacher and entrepreneur. We miss her greatly. A memorial mass will be held in 1-2 months when restrictions due to the current pandemic hopefully ease.

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