Barbara Lorraine (Bowers) Bawden

Barbara Bawden, 95, died March 12, 2020, in Livermore. She was born to Floyd and Zetta Bowers in Los Angeles on July 12, 1924.

Her mother died when Barbara was 5 years old, and her father remarried when Barbara was 10. The family moved to a house 12 miles outside of Lincoln, California, where a young city girl learned to live without electricity, telephone, and indoor plumbing. Her stepmother, Grace, taught Barbara to be a strong and independent person who loved to learn. In 1940, at age 16, Barbara graduated from Lincoln High School. She and her stepmother then moved to Berkeley, California, so she could attend the University of California.

In Berkeley, she met Richard Bawden, Jr. They were married before Richard reported for basic infantry training and was sent to North Africa during World War II. To support the war effort, Barbara took nurses training while also attending college. She graduated from UC-Berkeley in 1944.

After the war, Barbara followed Richard to UCLA, Richmond, Pacific Grove, Coalinga and San Leandro, California, as he advanced his career in education. During that time, Barbara gave birth to two children, Richard Bawden III and Sally Bawden Madrid. She also earned a teacher's credential at San Jose State University and began teaching kindergarten in Centerville, California (now Fremont). She later moved to Castro Valley, California, where she taught first grade at Stanton School and eighth grade history and English at Earl Warren Junior High and Canyon Middle School. She lived in Castro Valley for 57 years.

In retirement, Barbara took up golf, volunteered at her church, and spent time with her grandchildren. She also cared for her husband, Richard, until his death in 2002, following a lengthy illness. In 2016, Barbara moved from Castro Valley to Watermark at Rosewood Gardens in Livermore, where she received wonderful care and assistance until her death due to a brain hemorrhage.

Barbara is survived by her son, Richard (Mary) Bawden; daughter, Sally Madrid; grandchildren, Elizabeth Bawden, Alexis (John) Madrid, John (Tara) Bawden, Peter (Tina) Madrid, and David Bawden; and six great grandchildren, Julianne, Marcus, Leyla, Amelia, Clara, and Kayvon. She was predeceased by her husband, Richard, and her sister, Betty.

Callaghan Mortuary in Livermore is handling arrangements. A memorial service will be scheduled later. An online guestbook is available for condolences at

The family thanks Dawn, Stephanie, Cindy and the entire staff at Rosewood Gardens for their care; David Green of LivHOME for his friendship and professional advice; and the staff at Hope Hospice.