On June 22, 2012, Barbara Cooper de Jounge passed on to her next adventure. She was surrounded by her family and close friends in her home in Laguna Beach, Calif.
Barbara Blakely was born on May 7, 1943, in Great Falls. She spent most of her childhood in Helena, where she graduated from high school (1961) and met her first husband, Jerry Cooper. She graduated from Montana State University with a bachelor’s degree. After two years in Europe, Barbara and Jerry moved to Southern California, where their only child, Graham, was born in 1970.
Barbara had a lifelong passion for art and design, with little regard for convention. From an early age she had a knack for making artistic pieces from household items. She owned the Laguna Beach Diet Center in the late 1980s and 1990s, where she was able to help many Laguna Beach locals lose weight and improve their health. Later, she rediscovered her artistic calling, designing and crafting felted wool garments and modern, casual jewelry. Her work became highly sought after as she built a reputation as a skilled, creative designer. Her work has been shown in numerous venues, notably the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art.
Barbara is survived by her son, Graham, and his family, who live in Piedmont, Calif., as well as her two sisters, Shari Smith and Marilyn Hayes, who live in Richland, Wash.