Barbara Cooper de Jounge passed on to her next adventure on June 22, 2012. Family and close friends surrounded her at home in Laguna Beach.
Barbara Blakely was born on May 7, 1943, in Great Falls, Mont. She spent most of her childhood in Helena, Mont., where she graduated from high school in 1961 and met her first husband, Jerry Cooper. She graduated from Montana State University with a bachelor’s degree. After two years in Europe, Barbara and Jerry moved to Southern California, where their only child, Graham, was born in 1970.
Barbara had a lifelong passion for art and design, with little regard for convention. From an early age she had a knack for making artistic pieces from household items. She owned the Laguna Beach Diet Center in the late 1980s and 1990s, where she was able to help many Laguna Beach locals lose weight and improve their health.
Later, she rediscovered her artistic calling, designing and crafting felted wool garments and modern, casual jewelry. Her work became highly sought after as she built a reputation as a skilled, creative designer. Her work has been shown in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art.
Barbara is survived by her son Graham and his family, of Piedmont, Calif., and two sisters, Shari Smith and Marilyn Hayes, of Richland, Wash.