obit besenthal

Barbara Jean Besenthal, Feb. 9, 1927-Dec. 6, 2019

Our loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother, Barbara Jean Besenthal, went home to be with the Lord, Friday morning, Dec. 6, at the age of 92, in Bakersfield, Calif. She was born Feb. 9, 1927, in Los Angeles, Calif., to Larry and Violette Rinn. She was the eldest (by just few seconds) twin daughter born on that day in what was the first Cesarean birth in Los Angeles County.

Barbara was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Arthur Besenthal, and her twin sister, Jeanette Forster.

After graduating high school in 1945, Barbara went on to attend art college for a short time. That is when she met Art and they soon became inseparable and married on Jan. 4, 1947. They had four children, and Barbara was a full-time stay-at-home mom and housewife.

Barbara spent her life devoted to God, her family and her community. She served the Lord at her church in whatever city she lived. The longest stretch was in Bakersfield, at Trinity United Methodist Church. That was the church where her children grew up and where her three daughters were married. She and Art also initiated and helped carry out the organization of the Tehachapi Valley United Methodist Church in 1984.

We cannot begin to share all of Barbara’s accomplishments in her lifetime. She was such a talented and creative artist in every sense of the word. Painting, sewing, quilting, crafts, cooking, baking and the list goes on. She was involved in school PTA, Camp Fire Girls, Boy Scouts, Vacation Bible School, anything that kept her creativity flowing. Just recently in her sedentary years, she discovered a love of creative writing. We came across several life story journals that we are anxious to enjoy.

Barbara is survived by her four children, Sandra and Larry Mahon; Art and Dianna Besenthal; Diana Williams; Cathy and Dave Seagrave. Eight grandchildren, Russell and Sally Mahon; Jeni and Jonathan Wood; Arthur and Michelle Besenthal; Wendy Flowers; Daniel Curnow; Jeremy and Gina Curnow; Kevin and Sara Varner; Ryan and Rachel Varner, and 23 great-grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren.

We will be celebrating Barbara’s life Saturday, Dec. 28 at Christian Life Assembly, 920 W. Valley Blvd., Tehachapi, Calif., at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials and remembrances may be made to your church or favorite charity.

John 14:1-3

14: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2: In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3: If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

Wood Family Funeral Service was entrusted with her care. For condolences, please visit

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