Barbara passed peacefully after a courageous journey with Alzheimer’s on Feb. 6. She was 72.
Born in Los Angeles on June 14, 1949, she grew up in Berkeley, where she also spent her adult life.
Barbara earned her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, her master’s degree from California State University, Sacramento, and her law degree, with highest honors, from Golden Gate University, where her academic achievements were further acknowledged by her becoming editor of the Law Review.
Barbara later served as a federal law clerk for the Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel in the United States District Court. As a law practitioner, Barbara’s areas of expertise were sexual harassment and sex and race discrimination. Barbara touched hearts and minds throughout her distinguished career as an attorney and mediator in her private practice, as an adjunct faculty member at Berkeley Law, and as a frequent public speaker and published author.
Barbara served on many boards: Equal Rights Advocates; Henderson Center for Social Justice, University of California, Berkeley; the Labor and Employment Law Section of the California State Bar; Earl Warren Inn of Court; Trial Lawyers of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties; California Women Lawyers; Alameda County Bar Association; San Francisco Bar Association; and Alameda County Superior Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Program.
In 2005, she toured India, by invitation, educating officials there on sexual harassment legislation.
In the course of her rich life, Barbara participated in 20 sports, summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, traversed every corner of Yosemite, hiked the John Muir Trail, visited 30 countries, attended more than 100 performances at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and San Francisco Opera, and rode a Harley-Davidson in San Francisco’s Pride Parade. She was beautiful inside and out.
Barbara shared her life with many friends and, most intimately, with her loving and devoted life partner and spouse of 30 years, Elizabeth M. Williams, by whom Barbara is survived, along with Barbara’s loving sister, Susan Bryant-Johnson. Unquestionably, Barbara and Elizabeth were the light and love of each other’s life.
Barbara’s enormous and far-reaching spirit lives on.
Those wishing to make a charitable contribution in Barbara’s honor are invited to do so benefiting Yosemite Conservancy.