Barbara Jean Pleasants, of Lake Forest, California passed away peacefully to heaven while closely surrounded by her family on Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14, 2013 at the age of 74.
She was born Barbara Jean Culling on May 24, 1938 in Phoenix Arizona. She was the fourth of five children of Ernest and Ophelia Culling. Her parents and siblings Ernest Culling, Dora Balderas, Dorine Angulo and Ronald Culling predeceased her in death. She graduated from Phoenix Union High School in Phoenix in 1956.
On February 15, 1958, she married James Warren Pleasants, her high-school sweetheart, whom she knew since childhood, at St. Mary’s Basilica in Phoenix Arizona. She died one day short of celebrating their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary. Barbara and James had two beautiful children; James and Leslie Pleasants.
In 1976, Barbara’s husband Jim was offered an exciting job opportunity in Orange County, California. She and her family moved to Lake Forest, California to live. She loved Lake Forest so much that she and her husband remained there to raise their children for the remainder of her life.
In 1979, Barbara was employed at Valencia Bank, in Lake Forest, as a vault teller for five years. She loved her job and made many life-long friends while working at the bank. She was so well-respected by fellow colleagues and entrusted by her employer, that the bank asked her to train and evaluate new employees. Also, her daily interaction with customers was so highly regarded, that she was voted employee of the month and was rewarded with a vacation to a resort in Mexico.
In 1984, she quit her job at the bank to help start a business with her husband, Jim. Barbara wanted to name the company Jimni Systems, Inc. Barbara had thought up the name for the company and loved telling the story surrounding it. She would relate that because she always said “Jim and I are going here or Jim and I are doing this,” that naturally the name of the company should be “Jimni.” She continued to help run the business and helped it grow until 2007, when she had decided to slow down and enjoy a more relaxed life.
Barbara loved her family and took great pride and interest in keeping up on all the family’s events and activities. She loved having a strong family connection, making sure the family always came first and remained close and centered. She had a wonderful and keen sense of humor. She was a wonderful storyteller whose charming and witty humor and infectious laughter will always be remembered.
Barbara had four grandchildren which she adored immensely. They called her “Nana,” a title she wore with pride. They all remember her love of sunflowers, cooking them delicious breakfasts of “bacon, eggs and toast (calling it “The best bacon, eggs and toast in the world”). She loved setting them on her lap while singing to them “You Are My Sunshine” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” She also taught them to recite the “Guardian Angel Prayer.”
Barbara will always be remembered for her love of life, family and her devotion to her Catholic faith and beliefs. She is survived by her husband, James; son James Pleasants II and wife Janet of Murrieta, California.; daughter Leslie McKinney and husband John of Corona California; grandchildren Jessica Thurman and husband Joel of Temecula, California; Jennifer Pleasants of Murrieta, California; Jack McKinney of Corona, California and Justin McKinney of Corona, California.
Barbara will be greatly missed by her family and friends. During her life she believed in and practiced the power of love, hope and faith. Now she is sharing those gracious qualities with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Barbara’s life will be celebrated at a viewing on Friday March 1, at 7:00-9:00 pm. at O’Connor Mortuary 25301 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills, with a rosary at 7:00 pm. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10 am. Saturday at Santiago de Compostela Catholic Church, 21682 Lake Forest Drive, in Lake Forest, with a reception following. Burial will take place at Riverside National Cemetery at 10:00 am. 22495 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside, California.