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Gail Jean Pittman Barham

Gail Jean Pittman Barham, 82, passed away June 18, 2017, in Spokane, Washington. She  was the widow of Burke Barham who passed away in 1983.   

She was born in 1935 in Spokane, Wash. to Don and Eida Pittman. Gail moved around quite a  bit as a child, due to her father’s job, and called Washington, Montana, Oregon, and California home. She graduated from the University of  Montana at Bozeman in 1957, and went on to receive a graduate degree from Sacramento State. She married Burke Barham in 1964 and had two daughters, Molly and Carrie.    

Other than a brief stint working for Western Electric in college, Gail spent her life teaching English in Sacramento, Calif. at Will C Wood Junior High School and Luther Burbank High School, where she served as department chair. After retiring from teaching she opened a bed and breakfast in a restored Victorian in Ashland, Oregon appropriately named “NightinGail’s.” She also channeled her love of teaching English into volunteer work at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.    

While living in Sacramento, Gail was a member of Hope Community Church and sang in the choir. She loved trying new things; weaving, new recipes, sewing, exploring the outdoors, quilting, and embroidery. She was forever hopeful that she could keep African violets alive.  

Her summers were spent camping with family and friends, visiting in Chattaroy, Wash. and Polson, Montana, traveling to Europe, and in later years, going on safari to Kenya. Her bed & breakfast was usually full in the summertime with favorite guests who became friends, as well as former students who brought their children to meet their favorite teacher. Gail was immensely proud of her students from across the years and celebrated their successes.    

Gail is survived by her daughters, Molly (John) Lewis and Carrie Barham; her sister, Donna Lee Reser; her brother-in-law, Robert Reser; and her grandson Jackson Lewis.     

Memorial gifts may be made to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Heifer International, or the Sierra Club.     

Memorials to be held in Chattaroy, Wash. July 8, 2017 and Sacramento, Calif. July 22, 2017. For information please email gailpittmanbarham@lewispost.com.