School 31

Barbara Jeanne Knist McDonnell

January 24, 1931 ~ November 4, 2019 (age 88)



Barbara Jeanne Kinst McDonnell passed away on October 14, 2019 at home surrounded by her family. She was born on January 24, 1931 in Oakland, CA to Bill and Eura Kinst.

She became the third generation of teachers in her mother’s family and was an expert in the field of child development. Inspired by her dad, she became an avid baseball fan starting with the Oakland Oaks. Attending Giants games with her grandchildren was a highlight of her summers. With her husband John, she traveled the world, making new and lifelong friends wherever she went. Later in her life, her interest in writing became a passion and she had a novel in the works. The greatest love of her life was her family, and the job she did the best was grandma, which she excelled at. She taught us to love learning and teaching, because she never stopped doing so. She taught us to not be afraid to express our individuality, or our opinions, of which she had many. She taught us to be grateful for what we have and to hold out a hand to those not as fortunate. She gave us the most wonderful gift of all, a family full of support, laughter, opinions, sometimes anxiety, but always, always full of love. She was always at the center of our lives, and will always be at the center of our hearts. Barbara is survived by her children Christie (Dan), Nancy (Jerry), Julie (Bob), and Bill, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Barbara was preceded in death by her husband of 25 years, John McDonnell, her parents, and her brothers George and Bill.

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No services to be held at this time.

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