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Gaylene Yvonne Kirkbride

Gaylene Yvonne Kirkbride, 82, died Dec. 17, 2010,7 at home in Bakersfield, Calif.

Born Nov. 2, 1935, in Bellefontaine, “Gaylene, Gay, Mom, Mamacita, Sister, Aunt, Grandma, GG” was always a force to be reckoned with. She was the fourth of five children born to John and Evelyn Downing, At the age of 7, Gay’s parents divorced, and she and her siblings were sent to live at the Mennonite Children’s Home in West Liberty, OH. Although a difficult experience for them at the time, Gay and her sisters and brother grew into strong, independent individuals.

Gay spent 52 years with her husband, Paul Kirkbride. Gay and Paul, both having colorful pasts, brought their varied stories and lots of kids together for their own “yours, mine, ours and a few more” story. Living and moving often to various places around the United States (Ohio, Arizona, Oregon, California and Nevada) added to her very unique life. Gay worked over the years in a variety of jobs, such as waitressing, working in a factory, cashiering at casinos, making sandwiches and of course, raising a bunch of kids.

Known for her sharp wit, amazing homemade fudge, love of Starbucks, NASCAR and taking cruises, Gay will be missed more than she ever dreamed.

Gaylene was preceded in death by her husband, Paul; sisters, Jean and Barb; brother, Brian, and sons, Kenny and Paul Jr.

Survivors include a sister Pat; children, Bill, Jim, Pollyann, Bobby, Toni, Kathy, Jeff, Juanita, Johnny, Ike, Randy and twins Debbie and Donna; numerous and beloved nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Also surviving is her dear and spoiled dog, Gidget, who is lost without her mom.

If you would like to do something in honor of Gay, please consider donating to your local humane society in her name. She would love that

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