Barbara K. Gendel

July 19, 1941 - September 5, 2017
Service Date:
Friday, September 22, 2017 6:00 PM
Service Location:
Starks Funeral Parlor

"Taylor, Pellum, Davis" 

Born July 19,1941 in Panguitch, Utah passed away on September 5, 2017 peacefully surrounded by her family. She had many names, however Gladys, Doris and Grammers were the most memorable.

Anyone who knew mom will remember her for her endless hard work at everything she did, zest for life, beauty and timeless elegance, as well as being the life of the party. Mom's perseverance would shine through any endeavors, never knowing how to do anything halfway. "Firm, Fair and Flexible" was her life motto, whether it be professional or personal. 

Mom always had the time to listen, show compassion and give good sound advice when you needed it most. She had a way of picking you up when you were down, lifting your spirits when you were low, and making you feel on top of the world before you knew it.  Holidays with mom felt bigger than life. She had a way of creating unforgettable experiences and memories. 

We always told mom she should write a book about her life experiences, because it was truly a fairytale. Growing up in the small town of Panguitch, Utah, she was a cheerleader and won best dressed in High school. After graduation, she moved to Salt Lake City to attend Darrell's Beauty School.  She became a hair dresser and soon after opened her own Salon. Shortly after, she met and married Gayle Taylor and together had a son Kevin. Even though they divorced, they remained great friends. She then married Ray (Tex) Pellum and together they had two children, Kimberly and Chance.  She went on to manage several different restaurants (The Cowboy Grub, The Towne Hall, The Cream and Sugar), all the while continuing her beauty business out of the small closet in our house, a revolving door of clients coming with a scarf, and leaving with a Beehive Do and a smile. 

Mom & Kevin then went on to open "The Barb Wire Social Club" and brought in many great country bands and entertainers. They were best known for their famous ham hocks and beans.  Mom always seemed to get a kick out of watching Kevin remove the rowdies by the seat of their pants at the end of the night. Well that's the Bar Business. Shortly after, Mom and Tex divorced but remained friends. 

Then came Harold, and Mom's life changed in so many ways.  He was her Prince. The love and happiness he gave her and our family was priceless. Opening "The Utah Nut House", he knew anything she did was going to be a "winner" and it was. Working day & night and traveling back and forth to California until that fairy tale wedding on July 22nd 1984.

Mom then moved to Visalia, California and traveled back & forth to ensure her sister Bette, daughter-in-law Joni, and the rest of the gang were keeping the Nut House in line.  Her life was now complete and her dream came true by building her dream house that we could all come to visit and enjoy.  One year after her wedding to Harold sadness struck, Harold passed away. Soon after she came back to Salt Lake City and once again her and Kevin opened "That Taco Place", The best Sloppy Joes & Taco's around. Not feeling well while preparing for the lunch rush, mom exited the door with the final instruction to Joni and Kim her daughter of "Don't worry, I'll be back before the end of the lunch rush." If you knew our mom it was business as usual.  She managed to drive herself to the hospital, and two days later underwent open heart surgery. Later we convinced mom to take a break from the stress of the restaurant, and in mom's joking fashion, she made a custom sign that read, "We've lost our minds, not our lease!" You could always count on her to make a heavy moment, lighter. 

They always say you save the best for last, the Nordstrom story. Starting out in fragrances at the Murray store, then moving on to managing several departments, she loved the challenge and adventure. She went on to become a store manager in the Rack division, traveling to Maryland, Oregon, California, and then opening the first rack in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Glitzy, fast paced, fun and a city that never sleeps, was perfect for our mom. Nordstrom was her life, passion and pride. She was a great mentor to many, successful in life, and a winner of many awards. However, Nordstrom's president's cup being her grand finale, and not just once but twice in a row.  After going back and forth, mom hesitantly decided to retire after 20 years of true dedication and service. 

Last but not least, her dear Arnold. He deemed mom's beloved nick-name Doris, due to her undeniable resemblance of Doris Day. They had a lot of fun with this in Vegas, being approached numerous times for autographs and pictures. Together they were the most striking couple in Vegas, and were well known for being accompanied by their pet companions Ava and Andee, dining alongside them in some of the finest restaurants.  When visiting, their house in Las Vegas it felt like you were staying at Circus Circus. 

We convinced Arnie and mom to move back to Salt Lake City, to be with our families. Even though she really never knew how to relax and not have somewhere to be, she loved her children and grandchildren beyond words and loved having us all together. Whether it was Canning, homemade Salsa, pedicures, nails, holidays, we were there together. She was a great example and taught us all to work hard and play harder. 

Preceded in death by her parents, Gwen and Lynn Davis; stepfather Garn Edwards; and brothers Baby Ken, Doug and Grant Davis.  Survived by her sister Bette Davis; son Kevin (Lupe) Taylor; daughter, Kimberly Pellum (Steve); son Chance (Nikki) Pellum; grandchildren Darnell (Danyel) Jones, Bentley, Alex and Kennedy Taylor, Bronson and Nicolas Bravo, Sutton and Texie Pellum; great grandchildren Hartley Rose and Harper Jaz Jones, Braevon Bravo; niece, Carolyn Davis; nephews Darren Davis and Jonnie (Sarah) Thomas; and great nephew Charlie Thomas.

Mom had a special love for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and looked forward to the updates on Chiladelphia on Charlie. 

We would like to extend a special thanks to Crissy Pellum and Joni Taylor who were like her own, loved her and spent many years with her. Arlene Pellum for her love and friendship till the end. Ginny Yee always made mom a priority in her daily life and gave her unconditional love and care the past few years. A special thanks to Kimberly for fighting the battles that mom no longer had the strength to and taking such good care of her. Kim was her advocate and a constant provider through the difficult times. We couldn't have done it without all of you.

Words cannot express our gratitude to the staff at "The Lodge" for their love, care and genuine compassion through this difficult journey, and to Claudia from Hospice for Utah. 

Mom we will always remember your signature word when having fun "Yee Haw!"

A Celebration of her life will be held on Friday, September 22, 2017 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City.