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Home Obituaries Eileen M. Pendleton
Eileen M. Pendleton

Camarillo, CA

On Saturday, November 10, 2018 our angel returned to Heaven.

Eileen Barnes was born at the beginning of WWII at Camp Gordon, Georgia. Her father, Edward Barnes, was in the Army awaiting overseas assignment. Her mother, Eileen Barnes, and Baby Eileen moved back to Long Island when Edward was sent overseas. At the end of the war the Barnes family established a home in Mineola, NY.

After completing her education Eileen worked in several secretarial and modeling jobs. She was working as a representative for R. J. Reynolds when a young Naval officer caught her eye. She said to herself, "That's the one for me." The mutual attraction was very strong but it was destined to be short lived. The officer had to return to his duty station in Corpus Christi, Texas. Not to be deterred Eileen wrote to David Pendleton and said "I'm coming to visit!" David drove to the Corpus Christi airport in his top down sports car. As they drove back to the apartment for Eileen, David was impressed that she made no complaints about riding in the car with the top down even though it ruffled her lovely red hair. David thought "This girl is special."

Let us say the romance exploded. Eileen had to return to Long Island to quit her job and move out of her flat. She returned to Corpus Christi and the two were married in May of 1966. As a new Navy wife, Eileen was thrown into a new social circle where the typical greeting from another Navy wife was "Hi I'm so and so do you play bridge?" After a few lesson to learn the basics, Eileen jumped into the bridge maelstrom and never looked back.

David's duties took the couple to Long Beach, CA. Eileen was the happy homemaker expecting their first child. Returning from an overseas deployment aboard the USS Hornet David spotted his darling wife dockside barely looking maternal. However two days later Brian was born. More deployments and happy homecomings followed. This tour of duty ended with the Apollo 11 recovery mission.

San Diego was the next area of duty. Eileen fell right into the swing of things homemaking and bridge playing. Their second son, Brad, was born in San Diego. The couple only had a short time to enjoy San Diego as they were off on another great adventure, overseas duty in Japan!

Eileen exercised her charm and people skills and fit right in to a completely new lifestyle. Bravely using trains, buses and taxicabs Eileen and her chums explored the countryside, Tokyo, Yokosuka, Yokohama and all the quaint little villages. Eileen was even brave enough to tell a cab driver to "hayaku" (go fast) to make an important commitment. Ever the volunteer, Eileen was helping a charity at a Japanese Festival. She was serving spaghetti and American beer. She noticed a group of Japanese men watching her intently as she twisted the caps off the beer bottles. It took a moment to sink in that Japanese beer did NOT come with twist caps. She was Superwoman! Bridge, shopping, child care, and housekeeping filled Eileen's life. She had the able assistance of Atsui-san, her maid. Eileen braved earthquakes, typhoons, and scary separations but even exciting duty overseas has to end.

Returning to the USA for duty at NAS Point Mugu Eileen and her family were advised to buy a house, good advice! The family found a nice house in a quiet neighborhood and settled in. Both boys were growing fast and Eileen decided it would be a good time to augment the family income for college expenses. Her secretarial skills got her a job at Point Mugu. She applied for computer training and became a programmer at FACSO Port Hueneme. But she still had time for cards during lunch. Here her health began to fail. Job stress aggravated a heart condition. She struggled and ultimately had to take a medical retirement. Eileen suffered serious pulmonary issues as a result of a case of viral pneumonia, COPD and asthma. Ever the fighter she carried on in numerous volunteer positions helping the community and the local library with her portable oxygen beside her. Of course she was actively engaged in playing bridge all the while.

Eileen also discovered that California produces some very tasty wine. Wine tasting, wine trips and WINO wine club added to the adventure in her life. She epitomized the truism "At the end of the day it is chardonnay."

Eileen ultimately succumbed to the fire pollutions from the most recent fires. Eileen leaves behind husband David; sons Brian (Cassie) and Brad (Melissa); grandsons Nate and Jack; and many friends. Her cheerful outlook and open friendliness will be sorely missed. Eileen could engage anyone in conversation. She could get a life history from someone while standing in a grocery checkout line. She was always a brave fighter and outgoing friend. Her death leaves a gaping wound in the world.

A celebration of Eileen's life will be held in January of 2019 at a date to be determined.

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