Barbara Painter 1934-2014

Barbara Painter
Barbara Painter

Laguna Beach icon and longtime resident Barbara Northam Painter passed away peacefully on March 8, 2014, with family and friends.

She was born on Dec. 9, 1934, to Charles and Arline Baker in Albany, N.Y. Barbara was raised in Pelham Manor, N.Y., as a young child. She moved to Pasadena and attended Polytechnic, McKinley Junior High and John Muir. Growing up in Pasadena, she fell in love with horses and became an accomplished equestrian. Upon high school graduation, she traveled to Europe with her grandmother, Katherine Tiffany Romer. Barbara attended Pasadena City College until she moved to Bakersfield with her sister Charline Baker Wilson.

In 1955 in New York City on New Year’s Eve she met Robert Potter, who she married three months later.  Barbara and Bob traveled to his homeland, Perth, Australia, to meet his loving family. The love affair began with Australia.  Over the next 40 years, many of the Potters came to visit Laguna Beach.

In 1961, Barbara moved to Laguna Beach with her two young children, Robert and Wendy Potter. Barbara worked at Dean Witter on Broadway where she met the love of her life, Charles “CY” Painter, who she married in 1966.

She became an avid runner and volleyball player. She was involved with many charitable organizations including Schoolpower, CHOC, Ebell Club, League of Women’s Voters, Youth Shelter and Chamber of Commerce, and provided and served meals to homeless.

Painter’s unending service to community earned her the honor as citizen of year in 1992 in the annual Patriot’s Day Parade.

In recent years, Painter worked at Warren Imports for the late Harry Lawrence.  Her true passion was bowling; she couldn’t wait to tell you how she and her team scored every week. She would never miss a week of bowling.

Painter is survived by her sister Charline Baker Wilson of Oak Harbor, Wash.; son Robert Lyne Potter and daughter Wendy Northam Potter; grandson Jasper Potter and granddaughter Samantha Ferri; as well as nieces and nephews who loved and cherished her.

Services will be held at Aliso Creek Inn on Saturday, March 22, 3-7 p.m. All are welcome to celebrate her love of life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to the Glennwood House of Laguna Beach.

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