Emeritus, In Memoriam
Barbara Gunning was born 28 July, 1922 in Wasco County, Oregon, the only child born to Estella F. Crofton and Louis S. Gunning. The family moved to Chula Vista, a city near San Diego, CA., by the time of the 1930 Census. Her father Loius Gunning was a bookkeeper.
Barbara was age 10 when she lost her mother Stella, who died in 1932 at age 35. Three years later her father Louis died at age 38. By 1940 Barbara lived with the Evan and Hilda Curtiss family of San Diego. Barbara was a niece of Evan and Hilda Curtiss (1940 US Census). Barbara completed high school in San Diego and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps to serve during WW II. She was stationed in San Diego. Prior to her honorable discharge in August 1946, she served as Sergeant in the Women’s Reserve Squadron-4, Marine Corps Air Station, in Miramar, San Diego.
Barbara went to college at San Francisco College for Women and graduated with a degree in Chemistry in 1951. She worked as chemist at Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco until 1954, when she went to work as a senior laboratory technician and research assistant at U.C. Berkeley, where she received her Ph.D. in Nutrition in 1961. She was a nutritional biochemist as Alameda County Hospital, Oakland, CA. from 1961 to 1965, then went to Tucson, Arizona where she worked as a faculty member in the Home Economics Department at the University of Arizona for one year and then as a research biochemist at the Veterans Administration Hospital until 1969.
In 1969 Barbara moved to San Diego where she began her long career as a faculty member in what was then known as the Department of Home Economics. Over her 20-year career at SDSU (1969-1988), where she rose to the rank of Professor, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in nutrition and diet therapy, served as Graduate Advisor, chaired numerous graduate student research theses, and published research in refereed journals. Barbara also made significant contributions to San Diego State in serving on the Faculty Senate for many years and as University Ombudsman for three years.
Barbara retired in 1988 as Professor Emeritus of Family Studies & Consumer Sciences, the name of the Department/School at that time. Barbara enjoyed a long retirement. She passed away in November, 2010 at the home of her good friend Suzanne (Chappellet) Matez, with whom she had worked with during service as University Ombudsman.