Harbor Lawn-Mt. Olive Mortuary & Harbor Lawn-Mt. Olive Memorial Park
1625 Gisler Ave, Costa Mesa, CA
Barbara M Taman
September 8, 1927 – October 2, 2019
Barbara Maud Taman passed away October 2nd, 2019 at the age of 92. A longtime resident of Costa Mesa, Barbara was born in London, England, on September 8th, 1927, the youngest child of Maud Violet Kirby and Alfred James Kirby. Barbara spent her youth in England, which included the war years, 1941-1945. She would often recount her experiences of the war, which included spending time in air raid shelters, wearing gas masks, and being strafed by a Nazi bomber. As were many children in London, she and her older brother Alan, were evacuated twice to the Yorkshire countryside to avoid the bombing. The parents didn't know for weeks, sometimes months, where their children were. After the war, Barbara finished high school, and spent two years at what was then called a "finishing" school, where young ladies were taught how to speak properly, and carry themselves in a "ladylike" manner. At seventeen, Barbara won a beauty contest and began her modeling career. She also appeared in several musical/variety productions in London's theater district of Picadilly Circus. In 1948 Barbara went with her mother to visit her older sister Sylvia, in Pennsylvania, who had married an American soldier. It was then that she met her future husband, Stephen. Unsure of what she wanted, Barbara returned to England where she continued her modeling career, and appeared as an "extra" in several films including, "I was a Male War Bride" with Cary Grant, and "Night and the City" with Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney. Barbara returned to the United States, this time to New York City, where she was signed by the famed Conover Modeling Agency. She and her Mom had a wonderful time in New York, but the draw of family was too great, so they found themselves back in Pennsylvania to be near Sylvia and her family. Barbara and Stephen reunited, and were married in 1951. Their daughter, Sharlene, was born a year later. The marriage did not last long, and ultimately Barbara found herself, her Mother, and Sharlene on board a westbound train to California. The year was 1955. Never one to be far from his daughter, Stephen packed up his bags and followed them to the Golden State. He and Barbara remained devoted parents and lifelong friends until he passed in the year 2000. In California, Barbara worked as the fashion coordinator for the May Company, Lakewood, for seven years. Another try at east coast living near the family was short lived, and Barbara, Her Mother Maud, and Sharlene, moved back to California, this time to Orange County. The year was 1963. Barbara became the fashion coordinator for the May Company, Buena Park, and the head of their youth program, the “Teen Board." In 1969, Barbara was given the opportunity to work at Sears, in what was then, a pretty new "South Coast Plaza." After eighteen years with Sears, nine of which she was the head of the Beverly Kelly Charm School, she retired. Her intention was not to stop working however. She had a career change, and left fashion for the cosmetics industry. Barbara worked for the Broadway, Macy's, and Nordstrom, as a cosmetics consultant and fragrance model for brands such as Estee Lauder, Chanel, Lancôme, and the like. She finally retired in 2007 at the age of 80. Barbara had a beautiful voice, and was a devout churchgoer. She participated in several church choirs over the years. She was also an animal lover, particularly dogs, and delighted walking around her neighborhood giving the dogs "treats." For the last several years of her life, Barbara lived in the personal home of her caregivers, Janice and Jeramias Jabonero. Needing 24/7 care, Janice, Jeramias, and their entire family treated her as one of their own, and I am grateful for the love and care they showed her. Barbara was predeceased by her parents, Maud and Alfred, her sister Sylvia, and her brother Alan. She is survived by her daughter Sharlene, of Irvine, her sister-in-law Barbara Gething, of Hubbard, Ohio, her friend Martha Allen of Murrieta, and many loved nieces and nephews. Barbara will be inurned at Harbor Lawn-Mt. Olive Memorial Park and Mortuary in Costa Mesa, California.
Love you Mom