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5/3/2017 10:47:00 AM
Mary Barricks
Nov. 12, 1914 - April 26, 2017

Mary Louise Garcia Barricks, 102, mother of Father Bob Barricks, died April 26.

Mrs. Barricks was born Nov. 12, 1914, in Clifton, Arizona, to Leonard and Julia Garcia. She had three older sisters, Margaret, Josephine and Isabel, and a brother, Alfonso.

Mrs. Barricks attended school, worked after-school jobs, and helped her mother. As a teenager during the Great Depression, she fondly remembered stoking the fire then climbing into bed with her mother to keep warm and to read alongside her. Thus began her love of reading

She married William Barricks Aug. 12, 1935, at Immaculate Conception Church in Yuma, Arizona.

The young couple returned to the small Arizona town of Superior and her father set them up in the furniture business. Their daughters, Elaine and Sandy, were born in 1940 and 1941.

The Barricks moved to Los Angeles during World War II. Mrs. Barricks worked as a waitress and any odd jobs to make ends meet. The couple bought their first home, enrolled the girls in the local Catholic school, and awaited the birth of their third child, Robert, in 1947. He added to their work load, when, at age 3, he tripped over a basketball, broke his hip, and was in the hospital for six weeks. When brought home in a full body cast, he was placed in front of the window on the table in the dining room. This would be the first of many times Mrs. Barricks would tend to her son when he came out of some sort of surgery.

The Barricks bought property and a small home in the San Fernando Valley, which, in those days, held acres of citrus trees. The family raised chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows to supplement the family income and put meat on the table. A second son, Jeffrey, was born in 1955.

Mr. and Mrs. Barricks began to drive school buses throughout the rural area. In 1961, on a Thanksgiving trip with some friends, the couple traveled to Oregon to explore a land development opportunity at Christmas Valley. By May 1962 the Barricks owned a business in the town of 230.

The family immersed themselves in Oregon life. Though the nearest Catholic church, a mission church, was 50 miles away, every Sunday they drove the 100-mile round trip to attend Mass. “It wasn't a choice,” says Father Barricks. “This is what our faith-filled parents set as a pattern for us.”

Mrs. Barricks taught religious education to children to make sure the faith was passed on. She was recognized by the bishop for her hours of service over the years.

The Barricks sold their business in 1970 and slowed down a bit, becoming daily Mass attendees and praying the rosary daily.

The Barricks moved to Klamath Falls to be nearer to doctors. At the parish, Mr. Barricks was a lector, and Mrs. Barricks, in addition to making banners, as always was the “right hand” of the pastor.

When Mr. Barricks died suddenly in 1978, Mrs. Barricks, only 63, decided to live in Portland with her son Jeffrey. She worked at Sandy's Dry Cleaners and Laundry as well as at Oregon Tailor.

After a while she returned to Los Angeles and lived with her daughter, Elaine. She worked for a niece and the niece’s husband in a job that had her driving all over Los Angeles regardless of the traffic. She would go into various Catholic schools, distribute fundraiser prizes to students, and then do the bank deposit. She did this for close to 14 years. When asked how she handled the traffic congestion, she said she would pray the rosary and the time would pass.  

In 1996, at age 82, she moved back to Portland. For 15 years she ran Father Bob Barricks’ rectory at Holy Family Parish. She also became the "grandma" of Holy Family School, visiting and working with kindergartners and first graders, as well as any teacher who wanted her support.

She volunteered for the school auction, altar society, and hospitality. She took communion weekly to many of the church's homebound, some younger than her. If there was a call for help, she was there. A scholarship was established in her name on her 90th birthday to help a seventh grader with tuition.

In 2011, both Father Barricks and Mrs. Barricks retired from church life and moved out to live closer to Sandy, Mrs. Barrick’s second daughter. Though she missed the active church life, Mrs. Barricks continued to involve herself in the rosary makers, who made thousands of rosaries for overseas missions. In 2014, she fell and broke her hip and also had a stroke. This slowed her down considerably, but her desire to serve others never failed, and when she could find a way to help others or friends, she did.

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