Barbara and Bill Bales’ long and loving marriage will be forever memorialized in the community they called home.
Although passing 12 years apart after 32 years of marriage, Bill in July 2007 and Barbara in June 2019, the couple whose daughter describes them as “being magic together” now share a memorial brick in Community Home Health & Hospice’s Longview garden. Above their names is an American flag honoring Bill’s military service, and below are two simple words: “TOGETHER AGAIN.”
Bill and Barbara lived in Cowlitz County for the entirety of their marriage. Bill was the life of the party, quick to follow his heart and even quicker to bring a smile to all who crossed his path. A master of woodwork, he made his way west by building churches town to town after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Barbara was more soft-spoken, always ready with a kind word of encouragement or a gentle piece of advice but also remembered for her sassiness. In 1950, she moved with her parents and three younger sisters to Castle Rock from Silverton, Oregon at age 12. They rode north on a flatbed trailer pulled by a tractor.
In 1974 Bill and Barbara met on a blind date and married a year later. Together they lived a life of love and laughter, touching many other lives along the way. A preservation of these memories is one of the many reasons their family decided to purchase a double memorial brick engraved in their honor and placed amidst nature.
“My siblings can come to the garden, her grandkids, her great grandchildren; it’s a place that has solitude—has meaning,” said their daughter Karen.
The family also found our venue to be a perfect setting given Barbara’s love for gardening. When she wasn’t traveling with Bill or spending time with her children, she could usually be found at home plucking and pruning. This is where their mother would want her memory to live on.
But more than anything, the brick is a symbol of who Barbara and Bill were as a unit. Although their names are memorialized on a cemetery headstone, visits there often carry a mournful energy not felt in a garden.
“There’s something about being in a cemetery—it bothers me … their brick is more a monument to their life, not to their death,” Karen explained.
Memorial bricks provide a lasting tribute for loved ones. Available in two sizes (a single brick for $200 holds one name; a double brick for $400 holds two names) they make a lovely pattern that winds through the garden. For veterans, an American flag may be added to a double brick at no additional charge.
Fill out the form below to purchase your bricks, indicating if you want them installed in the E. Kenneth Henderson Memorial Garden in Longview or in the Seasons of Hope Memorial Garden in Vancouver.
Then enjoy visiting the beautiful garden for years to come to reflect on special memories of your loved ones.
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