Thursday, July 26, 2018


My Friend
Barbara L. Maineri

I normally do not use full obituaries for my Immortal Nobodies, but I am compelled to do so for Barbara.  I knew her as President of the San Bernardino Valley Genealogical Society, and we became friends there.  That group is not mentioned in her obituary, and I must confess that I had no idea she was so busy when she wasn't working to make sure our Society stayed functional and helpful!  I am sure you will be as dumbfounded as I was when you read about this fabulous woman.  I hardly knew her at all.  But she was bright, sweet and kind, and all of the SBVGS members are better folk for having known her.

     Barbara “Bobbie Nell” Maineri, 80 of San Bernardino, passed away in the early morning hours of February 6th, 2017. Barbara lost her seven-month fight with an extremely aggressive, very powerful cancer. Her passing was peaceful, without pain, and with her loved ones by her side.
     She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Ronald Maineri; son Paul Maineri (wife Karen Joy); daughter Susan Madden (husband Patrick); daughter Karen Maineri (husband Michael); grandchildren Paul Nicholas Maineri; Connor, Caroline, and Clara Mae Madden; Pria, Blessing, and Masterson Young; brothers Gary Madden, Wade Rowland, and Bobby Graf. She was preceded in death by her daughter Marianne Maineri Whitehall, mother Fleida “Mimi” Cross, father Wade “Jack” Rowland, and brother Michael Madden.
     Barbara LaNelle Rowland was born on October 11, 1936 in Houston, Texas. After meeting on a blind date, she fell in love with and married Cadet Lieutenant Ron. The two traveled the world together for 20 years, living in England, France, the U.S., and the Philippine Islands, and had four loving children along the way.
     After Air Force retirement, the family settled down in San Bernardino where Barbara became a Realtor, then later earned her bachelor’s degree in education and a teaching credential from the University of Redlands. She taught elementary school before teaching at Job Corps where she was awarded “Teacher of the Year”. Later, she taught at the San Bernardino Adult School for many years. After retiring from her teaching career, she partnered with Ron to operate their successful rare stamp auction house. She is being recognized this April by the International Philippine Philatelic Society with a Lifetime Achievement award.
     Barbara had a life-long love for sewing and was a passionate, prolific, and award-winning quilter. Quilting brought her great joy and was her creative expression. She was an active member of the Citrus Belt Quilters and held several offices including 1st Vice President. She enjoyed spending time with her quilting friends and always looked forward to their fun times creating together.
     A long-time member of the First Presbyterian Church of San Bernardino, she made many sweet friends and was active in the Corsairs Mariners fellowship group.
     When she was a young girl, her life dreams were to be a mother, a teacher, and to travel the world. She accomplished all these goals with love, grace, beauty, creativity, and humor. A friend to all she met, a protector to every stray animal, Mom and Grandmother to a fortunate few, and partner-in-life to one lucky guy.

Obituary from Citrus Belt Quilters.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018



There is one fact and one observation known about him.  This hand-tinted photograph was found in San Bernardino County, California, in the early 2000's loose among some boxes full of ephemera and given to the California Room of the San Bernardino Public Library.

There is an unusual story about these boxes.  Some people die as wards of the county, having no relatives, unable to care for themselves and/or who depend on county funds for their very existence.  When they die, the county sees to it that they are buried, usually in a Potter's field and mostly in an unmarked grave, and then cleans out the place where they were last living. Personal material such as photos, bibles and the like are boxed up and, in that time period at least, were sent to the California Room.  The thought was that perhaps there was something in these boxes that would be of historical interest relating to San Bernardino. It was a good idea, but in practice, the employees did not have time nor experience in opening and sorting through all the material in these boxes.   

I moved to San Bernardino County in 2000, and as a genealogist I offered to work in the California room.  That is where I saw some 30 boxes of such material in a back room, waiting for someone to care.  I cared.  Over the course of five years, I sorted through these boxes, and dispersed whatever material I felt of value, threw away things like pictures of pets (a most difficult job!!), and then made an attempt using genealogical research skills at finding someone related to this deceased person - by way of the internet.  I had some spectacular successes, a few times of reuniting some family item with a distant relative, and more than a few simply being thinned out and repacked.  

In among these 30 boxes, I found this lovely sailor photo lying loose, probably escaping from one of the boxes.  There was no identification on it, and it was not connected to any box.  However, it was someone's son, and I couldn't bear to throw it away.  I have kept it in my possession since I left San Bernardino County in 2005.

This much I have learned:  Whoever he was related to died in San Bernardino County, California, sometime between 1990 and 2004.  And if the fellow in the Veterans Club of Country Village, where I live, is correct, his uniform indicates that he is a Radioman/seaman apprentice.  

I have kept this picture safe since I brought it home, but there will be a time when that will not be the case.  I am trusting that by means of this posting on Immortal Nobodies, he will get the honor and respect that he deserves, and mostly, that he will be found by his family.  It's up to you who read this to see that this happens and that the picture will always be retrievable.