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Barbara Merrill Ward Lackey

Barbara M. Ward Lackey passed away March 21, 2012, in Arroyo Grande, Calif. She was a 4th generation Californian born April 23, 1917, in San Francisco to Alice Hawes and Milton J. Ward. She was raised and educated in Burlingame, Calif. During her youth, she was an avid tennis player, played in the Burlingame High School Band and Choir. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Burlingame being baptized in 1917 and married there in 1945.

After graduating from Burlingame High School in 1934, she went on to attend University of Oregon majoring in Physical Education with a minor in Music. She joined the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and continued this affiliation for life. After graduating from U of O in 1939, she returned to Burlingame to pursue her real passion, singing. She joined the San Francisco Opera Company and sang different operas in Los Angeles and San Francisco. However, World War II ended that career and a new adventure started when she volunteered her service becoming Administrative Assistant to the Chief of the Chemical Warfare Department in Washington, D.C. During her service to our country, she met the love of her life, Captain Ira C. Lackey.

After their marriage in 1945, they settled in Pasadena, had their only child Jennifer Lou and started the Curtiss-Merrill Concrete Block Company in Los Angeles County. By 1964, Barbara and Ira had discovered the Santa Ynez Valley and bought the Old Forty Acre Ranch and designed a lovely home. She became an avid golfer at the Alisal Golf Club and raised thoroughbred horses for 35 years. She was active in the Santa Ynez Republican Women’s Club as well as the Santa Ynez Historical Society.

Following the passing of her husband, she left the Valley to be near her daughter. She was able to live on her own and in her own home until 10 days before her death. Now, she has returned to her beloved Santa Ynez.

She is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Silva; grandchildren, James C. Irwin, Michael J. Irwin and Melisa Kovach; step-grandson, Steve C. Lackey; step-granddaughter, Dawn Davison; great grandchildren, Noah and Reis Kovach. Donations may be sent to Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society or the Ronald Reagan Library.

– Loper Funeral Chapel, Directors


Barbara J. Hallum

Barbara J. Hallum of Solvang passed away March 19, 2012, surrounded by her loving family. The former Barbara Campbell was born March 21, 1924 in Glendale, Calif. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in education. Barbara married Martin M. Hallum July 6, 1945, and enjoyed 63 years of marriage prior to his death in 2008.

Barbara began her long and distinguished career in elementary education in September of 1946. She taught kindergarten and first grade for nearly 35 years before becoming an elementary school principal for several years. Martin and Barbara settled in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1964, where they raised their two children and she enjoyed 27 years of her education career at Jonata Elementary School in Buellton. Barbara retired from Jonata in 1991, but remained active with community involvement and tutoring children. She truly loved educating children.

In addition to her work as an educator, Barbara helped start the local chapter of Children’s Home Society and served on its board for over 25 years. She was a long time supporter of the Coordinating Council, served on the Bethania Lutheran Preschool Board for nearly two decades and was a member of the local chapters of PEO and Danish Sisterhood.

Barbara received the Honorary Service Award from Jonata Elementary School PTA in 1976, a Continuing Service Award from the California Congress of PTA in 1982, a Commendation from the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors for her 38 years of dedicated service in public education in 1991, and a Dedicated Service Award from the Danish Sisterhood of America in 2002. She was named the 2002 Woman of the Year by the Valley Foundation and the Santa Ynez Valley News.

Barbara was preceded in death by her husband Martin “Bud.” She is survived by her son, John Hallum of Wausau, Wisconsin; her daughter, Marion Hallum of Anchorage, Alaska; granddaughters Katlyn Haus (Rich) of Pleasanton, California and Crystal Hallum of Brooklyn, N.Y. and great grandchildren Emma, Abby and Gavin Haus, sister Mildred Homer of San Luis Obispo and nephews Lee, Kenneth and Jim Homer.

In accordance with her wishes, no services are planned. The family plans to host a coffee at Bethania Lutheran Church early this summer, in her honor.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that anyone wishing to remember Barbara donate to the Barbara Hallum Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Bethania Preschool 611 Atterdag Road, Solvang, CA 93463. This scholarship fund will help ensure early education of some of our local children, which was a cause dear to her heart.