Barbara Ann Pendergrass passed away peacefully after a valiant battle with lung cancer, on February 21, 2019. She was 84 years old. She was the El Sobrante Chamber’s Citizen of the Year in 2013, and Grand Marshall of our 25th Silver Anniversary Stroll in 2018.
Personal History and Education: Born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, August 18, 1934, Barb moved with her family to Walkertown, Indiana, and then to California in 1942. She graduated from Richmond Union High School, and married Roy Pendergrass. They lived in their home on Renfrew Road starting in 1964, when she and Roy built their house there. She was married 61 years to Roy when he predeceased her. She is survived by her devoted son, Ron, daughter in law Marina, granddaughter Esperanza, great-grandson Aeden, her siblings and several nieces and nephews.
After graduating from Richmond Union High School, Barbara earned an AA degree from Diablo Valley College in electronics. She also earned achievement certificates in Beginning and Advanced Electronics. She attended a year of classes on criminal and civil procedures to become familiar with technical language for automated criminal systems (databases).
Work Experience: She initially worked in computers for the Handy Spot Organization and for Richmond Unified School District. Then she served as Director of Information Systems for Napa County for 14 years. She became a management consultant for long range planning for Butte County, and then worked for Contra Costa County as Deputy Director of Information Systems, until retirement.
Volunteer Service: Barbara volunteered for the West County Crisis Line when it started in the 70’s, and received training in suicide prevention. Then she became a volunteer rape crisis counselor. This involved going to the hospital for rape victims and seeing them through their court cases. She retired in 1993. After retiring she volunteered to serve her community in the following ways:
- Executive Director for Friends of Garrity Creek, which works to develop the area as “Garrity Springs Regional Park” within the East Bay Regional Parks District, to save Garrity Creek and its riparian areas, and to keep traffic at reasonable levels. While Barbara was Director, the Friends of Garrity Creek received $9000 in grants.
- She ran for election to the El Sobrante Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) in 2004. She became MAC Chair within 11 months of her election, and was Chair for 14 years.
- She served on the El Sobrante Planning and Zoning Advisory Committee for the last several years, and was Treasurer of the Committee when she died.
- Director on the Board of the Soroptimists Diablo Vista Club since 2010. She was awarded “Women of Distinction” Award in 2012.
- Volunteer with the Friends of the El Sobrante Library for over 5 years, helping with monthly book sales.
- Member of the El Sobrante Valley Community Alliance
- Director of the Board of the El Sobrante Chamber of Commerce.
- She and her husband, Roy, were active in the local Elks Lodge. She was Elks Citizen of the Year in 2013.
Barbara demonstrated the true spirit of community service and volunteerism for her whole adult life.