Barbara "Bobbie Beth" Elizabeth Musante-- beautiful; red-haired; playful; quick-witted; ever-so caring to family, friends, all animals, and to a multitude of grateful strangers-- passed away December 23rd, in Orangevale, at 90 years old. She was born in her beloved San Francisco, on April 2, 1926, to Robert and Ella Boland. Each parent brimmed with an Irish zest flowing from their never-forgotten County Cork roots: lively Ella was the long-time secretary of the Silver Avenue Merchants' Association, and quiet, strong Robert was a San Francisco fireman, who lavished Barbara with attention, including, as she often fondly reminisced, teaching her to swim by tossing her into The Bay from various Embarcadero piers. Barbara attended Portola Junior High, then Balboa High School. Balboa was also the high school of ambitious, smart, handsome Bill Musante for whom she had an admiring eye since their first meeting at three years old. In 1948, they married at St. Elizabeth's Church in the Portola District. After briefly running his own barbershop in the Mission District, Bill devoted his worklife to the San Francisco Police Department, where he captured one of the FBI's "ten most wanted criminals," patrolled in a black-and-white radio car at Potrero Police Station, rode a solo motorcycle for many years, and capped his career with a highly distinguished decade as an Inspector. They enjoyed wonderful times with fantastic S.F.P.D. friends at each stage of Bill's career. Everyone's favorite person, Barbara was magical at making events fun and people happy. A devout Roman Catholic all her life, she particularly gave her time and heart to the parishes of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Redwood City and St. John the Baptist in Folsom. She and Bill made considerable sacrifices to insure that their three children-- Robert, Susan, and Billie Frances-- each received 12 great years of Catholic school education. Barbara and Bill lived and loved in San Francisco (Thornton Avenue, Hahn Street, Girard Street), Redwood City, Tower Park Marina, Lodi, and Diamond Glen in Folsom... and shared sooo many romantic getaways to Boulder Creek, Long Beach, and Carmel, plus memorable cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean, and the Panama Canal. Traveling with her children, Barbara kissed the Blarney Stone (pretty sure it kissed her back); viewed Paris from the Eiffel Tower and the top of Notre Dame; cog-wheel-trained the frozen heights of Jungfrau; floated along Venetian canals; roamed England's Lake District; and trekked Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Every stop along her life's journey, she adorably struck up a conversation with a nearby stranger, who was invariably and instantly charmed into chatting with her and her companion(s). Over her lifetime, Barbara was a true best friend to dozens, including Gloria, Eda, Sis, Cassie, Josie, Norma, Joanne, Traudel, Bev, Frances, Claudia, Marlene, Anne, Sammy, Louise, Diana, Addie, Patti, Mary, Allene, Jean, Kim and Moira. But her bestest friend of all-- and her song-n-dance partner for 80+ years-- was her delightful older sister, Eleanor Hermitte. In addition to her three children, Barbara is survived by her "second sister," elegant niece Joanne Heidohrn; by her grandchildren: Justin, Jordan, Jenna, and Sabrina; and by her great grandchild Brynn each was touched again and again and again by her no-bounds generosity, tender affection, and twinkly personality. It was a helluva run, Bobbie Beth! Now make 'em all in Heaven chuckle and feel good about themselves, just as you always did for us. Best Mom, Whole World. Barbara will be remembered on Thursday, January 12th at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Folsom. Service at 11 a.m., lunch following. Also Friday, January 13th at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, Colma. Service at 11 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m., at Basque Cultural Center, 599 Railroad Ave., South San Francisco. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to the ASPCA.
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