Barbara Mendius' Obituary

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
The family of Barbara published a lovely obituary that I would like to share with you this morning.  I will be going over to her house later today to pick up a few plants from her garden, which I will lovingly care for through the years to come.


9-18-49 to 4-03-18 Just as the sun set on April 3, 2018 our bright star sister, Barbara Jane slipped with ease into the amazing COSMOS where her inquiring spirit had so often wandered. Truly free at last. An awesome presence on earth, she met every challenge presented to her. Along the way Barbara fashioned an extraordinary life. She was a passionate environmentalist and a dedicated volunteer programmer for the Oregon Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Land and water conservation, animal welfare, and architectural preservation were all efforts that she fervently supported. As a software engineer at Electro Scientific Industries and as a systems analyst at Kaiser Permanente at the Center for Health Research, she vigorously pursued her commitment to advance science. her academic achievements include: a BS degree and MS in Neurobiology from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Oregon in Eugene. Constellations of friends were drawn to her wide-roaming curiosity, adventurous soul, and indomitable courage. She reciprocated with her deep commitment and caring for others; she fostered significant relationships that spanned her entire lifetime. Her family knew Barbara's generosity was legendary, but she always preferred to remain behind the scenes. With dear childhood friends living nearby, Barbara forged her dream of independence in wheelchair-friendly Portland. She designed a fine home for herself and had it built on the perfect lot. In keeping with her values, all the doors and windows were secondhand (she was quite proud of this achievement.) There followed a garden thoughtfully assembled welcoming birds, butterflies, frogs, and other hopping critters with plants native to Oregon. This garden was awarded with A Silver Star by the Portland Oregon Audubon Society. In her beloved wheelchair, Barbara adored being out in the city and embraced its amazing offerings. You may have seen her accompanied by kindred spirits, riding the bus and Tri-Met in all kinds of weather and at all hours. Barbara was the youngest child of Lee and Ed Mendius of Riverside, Illinois and the sister of Mary Lee Greenfield, Jean Kokes, Larry (Ruth) Mendius. she was a special aunt to Jenni (Tom) Hulsey, Cami Greenfield, Todd (Stacey) Kokes, Matthew Kokes; grand niece and nephews: Luke and Abby Hulsey, Zack and Kyle Kokes.

Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Apr. 22, 2018

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