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MailTribune.com
  • Barbara G. Cloer

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  • Barbara Cloer, 89, passed away December 21, 2012, at home. She had been on and off of hospice care over a period of five years after a series of strokes.
    Barbara's father was Eastman Kenneth Gorton and her mother was Althea Glenn Gorton. A younger sister, Jean Gorton, lives in Bellingham, Wash., and a niece, Gabrielle Gallegos, lives in Washington, DC. Her loving husband, Hal Cloer, passed away October 5, 2012. Her mother, father, an older brother, her younger son, and two grandsons predeceased her.
    She married William M. Rankin in 1942, at the beginning of WWII, later raising two sons while partnering with her husband and parents in running Gorton's Ice Cream and Candy store in Fresno, Calif. Barbara's older son, Bill Rankin, and daughter-in law, Denise, have three sons, Chad, Craig, and Will. She is also survived by her younger son's children, Brian and Patrick Rankin.
    Barbara went on to graduate summa cum laude in psychology at Fresno State University in 1964, and became a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the State of California.
    While attending a summer program on counseling the deaf at Western Oregon University, she met Hal Cloer, professor of psychology at Southern Oregon University. They were married in 1968.
    Upon moving to Ashland in 1968, Barbara worked for the Oregon Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, managing the Medford office in 1970. She served as secretary of the Jackson County Head Start Board; was on the County Human Resources Committee; the Jackson/Josephine County Job Council; and inspected convalescent homes for health, education and welfare. In 1976, Barbara founded the Gorton's Gifts and Gourmet store in Medford, introducing major cookware products to the Rogue Valley and developing a successful business. She sold the store in 1982, when her husband retired and wanted to travel. In 1983, they made a three-month, 15,000 mile trip around the U. S. Subsequently, they made six trips to Europe, five trips to Mexico, two to Asia, three to Canada, and cruised the Panama Canal.
    After retiring, Barbara enjoyed golf, duplicate bridge, camping trips and travels with her grandsons and time with her many friends. At various times she was a Pink Lady at Ashland Community Hospital, a member of AAUW, the Ashland Study Club, president of her investment club, an active member of the Ashland Women's Golf Club, a board member and treasurer of the Tudor Guild, and a member of three ACBL duplicate bridge groups.
    Special thanks go to members of Barbara's longtime caregiver team, to the case managers, and to the entire Hospice staff.
    For those wishing to celebrate Barbara's life, a memorial celebration for her and Hal's lives will be held at the Mountain Meadows Clubhouse on the afternoon of February 16, 2013.
    Memorial gifts can be made to the Hospice Program of the ACH Foundation, P.O. Box 98, Ashland, OR 97520. Arrangements under the direction of LitwillerSimonsen Funeral Home and Crematory, Ashland, Ore.
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