Barbara Huntington Thomas, 90, of Eugene, Ore., passed on June 22, 2015. She was born on March 1, 1925 in Eugene, Ore., to Charles A. “Shy” and Hallie (Hills) Huntington, an Oregon pioneer family. She graduated from Eugene High School and attended the University of Oregon.
Barbara had a lifelong love of horses and became a national rodeo star performing at the Pendleton Roundup, Madison Square Gardens, and Boston Garden rodeos among many others, earning the title World Champion Trick Rider, 1954. She was an accomplished seamstress with a flair for fashion, creating professional quality costumes and clothing. On retirement from her professional riding career, she taught horsemanship to many children and was especially happy to do this.
She went on to become an accountant for Manerud-Huntington Fuel Company, and an executive assistant for Leonard Wildish at Wildish Construction. She loved to travel and was vitally interested in the world, reading her paper every day. She was a licensed practitioner of Religious Science International, founding member of Religious Science of Eugene and a board member. She was also a member of Lane County Historical Society, influential in the Willakenzie Area Planning Committee, member of Sweet Adeline’s Chorus, Daisy Ducks, Rainbow Girls, and the Girl’s drill team instructor for the Lane County Hunt Club.
She married John Clayton Jr. in 1944 and Jack Thomas in 1962; both marriages had ended. She is survived by her daughter, Judith Clayton Van, Eugene, Ore.; granddaughter, Andrea Van Iniguez, Oregon City, Ore.; granddaughter, Barbara Gram (Chris), Portland, Ore.; grandchildren, Peder and Madeleine Gram, Portland, Ore.; and niece, Dianna James (Cary), Dexter, Ore.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Sunset Hills Funeral Home, 4810 Willamette St., Eugene, OR 97405. A Private Family Inurnment will be held at a later date at Mt. Vernon Cemetery. Please sign the guestbook at smithlundmills.com
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