The Kenwood Press
Obituaries: 09/15/2017

Carolyn Jane Arnold Barto


Our Tana, amazing mother, grandmother, wife and friend, has passed, on June 7, and we miss her already. Born in Springdale, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 12, 1928, she had many adventures growing up, from taking care of a young cousin in Troy, Mississippi, to working at a tobacco farm in Connecticut, to creating newspaper art for a department store in Akron, Ohio. After graduating from Springdale High School, Carolyn attended Ad Art Commercial Art School in Pittsburgh, where she met her future husband, Philip Andrew Barto. They were married in Springdale on June 11, 1949, and moved to California in 1952, first living in San Francisco, Sausalito, and Larkspur, and eventually settling in San Rafael. They raised four children while living in Marin: Jana, Stephen, Eric and Peter. During this time, Carolyn developed as an artist, studying watercolor at College of Marin and becoming a member of the Marin Society of Artists, all the while showing and selling her work at many art shows. She was also a member of the Twin Cities Troupers, performing in plays and musicals around Marin in the early 1960s.

Phil and Carolyn moved to Santa Rosa in 1992, where she continued to paint, as well as volunteer at the Oakmont Visual Aids Workshop, and the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home, drawing portraits of the children there in hopes of giving them a better sense of self and worth. Carolyn was predeceased by son Stephen Webb Barto, daughter Jana Arnold Barto, and Phil, her husband of 62 years. She is survived by son Eric and daughter-in-law Diane (Kalbach), son Peter and daughter-in-law Lisa (McDade), and cherished granddaughters Madison McCants Barto and Erin McDade Barto.

A warm, humble and resilient woman, Carolyn had a wonderful knack of being interested in just about anyone and anything. She enjoyed Latin jazz, cooking (especially baking cookies), being with family, playing cards, and anything that held color – she absolutely loved color. She was a wonderful mother and friend, a gifted artist, and provided a great life for her family. She once wrote, “Never think of a Homemaker or Housewife as ‘lowly.’ It means there is someone, who really cares, in charge of the best place in the world – home.” Please join us in toasting this lovely lady’s memory. Happy journeys, Tana – we love you!