Family members say that Barbara Faye Sumner Bundesen was the very definition of a mother — sweet, kind, gentle and selfless. Her giving nature also extended beyond her family to include volunteering with a number of local organizations, from Friends of the Petaluma Library to Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH).
"She was the mother everyone would want," said her son, Karl Bundesen of Petaluma. "She always kept all of us kids first and was a great support to my father. She was also very involved in the community."
A longtime Petaluma resident, Mrs. Bundesen died at her home on Feb. 24, 2013 at the age of 90.
Mrs. Bundsen grew up in Oakland and earned a bachelor's degree in nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley in 1944. After college, she worked for doctors who specialized in ear, nose and throat conditions.
She met her husband, Herbert Bundesen, on a blind date, fell in love and moved to Petaluma.
Although she was raised a "city girl" in Oakland she loved country living and life in Petaluma while staying connected to lifelong friends in Oakland.
"She loved animals, and they were attracted to her," said Bundsen. "My folks had a small farm and raised sheep. She enjoyed helping the ewes with lambing and bringing them in on stormy nights."
Mrs. Bundesen enjoyed being involved in the community and participated in the Petaluma Camera Club, Petaluma Garden Club and the American Association of University Women. She volunteered with FISH, was a den mother for Cub Scouts, a leader in Campfire Girls and 4-H, along with teaching Sunday school.
"She would drive people to doctors appointments and to the grocery store; people that didn't have transportation," said Bundesen. "She was very giving, and liked to give to a lot of different causes that were important to her."
She was a member of the United Church of Christ for more than 50 years and sang in the choir many of those years.