JARS v58n3 - In Memoriam: In Memoriam: Barbara Page (Peterson) D'Arezzo

In Memoriam: In Memoriam: Barbara Page (Peterson) D'Arezzo
Eleanor Philp

Barbara P. D'Arezzo, 78, of Fort Bragg, California, vice president and program chair of the Noyo Chapter of the ARS, died peacefully in sleep at her home on Wednesday, April 14, 2004. She had been diagnosed with liver cancer in January 2002. Born in Berkeley, California, on Oct. 28, 1925, to Carl and Caroline Peterson, Barbara attended the University of California, later entering the Cadet Nursing Corps at UCSF. On the Berkeley campus, she met Bud D'Arezzo, a Navy V-12 candidate for officer training. After his commissioning as a Navy Ensign, they married in Berkeley in May 1945, ten days before he was deployed to a submarine in the western Pacific. After World War II, in the winter of 1945, they were reunited in New London, Connecticut, and began a long and happy marriage that produced five sons and a daughter. Barbara followed her husband back to San Francisco where he began a career in advertising. His work took them to Hawaii, back to San Francisco, then to Dallas, Texas, and to New York.

As a young mother in Palo Alto, California, Barbara became active in school parents associations and Boy Scouts. In Westport, Connecticut, she was a Girl Scout leader rising to head the Southwestern Connecticut Region of Girl Scouts of America. When her husband left Madison Avenue to enter the supermarket business in California Barbara took bookkeeping courses, later becoming chief financial officer for the three supermarkets she and Bud owned. When they bought the Fort Bragg Purity Supermarket in 1977, she and Bud moved to the Mendocino Coast where she joined Soroptimist International, participating in numerous community activities, and serving in all offices in that organization. At this time Barbara began collecting rhododendrons and landscaping the garden she and Bud built on 5 acres of woodland property near Fort Bragg. She became a dedicated member of the rhododendron group in Fort Bragg, actively helping to establish a chapter and becoming a charter member of the newly formed Noyo Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society.

A natural born leader, Barbara received the Bronze Medal from the Noyo Chapter, served in all offices of the Noyo Chapter, on nearly all committees, and was always anxious to share her knowledge and experience with others. Barbara was an asset to the Noyo Chapter and any organization she belonged to. A dedicated gardener who loved to travel, she had visited all the continents except Antarctica.