Barbara Louise (Becker) Bugalski passed away on May 27, 2017 at the age of 82 at Montecito Manor in Watsonville, California. Barbara was born on September 30, 1934 in Saginaw, Michigan to Ethel and Edward Becker. She grew up in New London, Wisconsin, graduating in 1952 from New London High School. She attended Marquette University, moving to St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she received her degree in nursing.
Barbara married Bob Bugalski in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 17, 1957. Their honeymoon was driving out to Watsonville, California, where Bob had secured a job as a teacher. Upon arrival, they lived in Watsonville and Barbara became a nurse at the prenatal unit at Watsonville Hospital. Barbara would continue nursing for the next 44 years, spending 20 years with The Medical Group in Watsonville, working primarily with Dr. Gilman. She also worked for many years at Dominican Hospital. Even after retirement, Barbara continued her nursing work, volunteering for flu shot clinics in the community. It is fitting that Barbara passed at Montecito Manor, the original site of Watsonville Hospital, where she began her career as a nurse.
Family life was the centerpiece of Barbara’s world. The family moved from Watsonville to Aptos in 1969. Barbara had four daughters and one son: Barbara Ann, Leslie, Mary, Ellen and Robert (Bobbie). She is survived by her husband Bob, children Ellen (Carl) Ferreira and Bobbie (Sandra) Bugalski, four grandchildren: Kyle Ferreira, Chad Ferreira, Elise Ferreira and Mitchell Bugalski; brother Bill Becker and numerous nieces. She was preceded in death by three of her daughters: Barbara Ann, Leslie and Mary; and her brother, Brud Becker.
Barbara loved California life, and particularly her adopted Pacific Ocean, which she swam in almost daily with her husband Bob until she was physically unable to a few years ago. Their favorite spots were Rio Del Mar Beach, Seacliff State Beach and New Brighton Beach. Barbara also enjoyed her post-retirement work at Grey Bears, helping sort donations and delivering food to seniors in the area.
The family wishes to extend their deepest appreciation and gratitude to the caregivers and nurses who have provided tremendous support and loving care to Barbara over the past few years, including staff at Victorian Home Care in Aptos, Montecito Manor in Watsonville and Hospice of Santa Cruz County.
Services will be private, per Barbara’s request. In lieu of flowers or donations, go enjoy a swim in the ocean or a lake – Barbara highly recommends it.