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Bill Leonard

Barbara Alby: A Strong Leader With A Common Touch

FlashReport readers share my world of politics and policies and we come to rely on those who are always there to speak out, to volunteer, and to be supportive.  These challenges bond like minded people together tighter than blood.  That is the way I feel about my friend, colleague, and staffer Barbara Alby.  We lost Barbara on Sunday suddenly with no notice.  Because she finished strong and was active up to her untimely death many of us talked to her recently and have very fresh fond memories.

Barbara Alby

I knew Barbara as a fiery conservative legislator who spoke with a refreshing directness on social issues.  But also a legislator who had great legislative success with Megan’s Law adopted by liberals and conservatives alike.  I knew Barbara as my Chief of Staff at the Board of Equalization whose sympathy for taxpayers was obvious to all.  She also had that great (women’s) intuition to know the difference between taxpayers under duress and those few cases of con artists who came before the Board.  I knew Barbara as my wife Sherry’s business partner in travel agency and event planning and saw her great business negotiating skills.  Sherry and I had the pleasure of traveling extensively with Barbara and Dennis including an exhausting and exhilarating 2500 mile bus tour of Italy last spring.

Given all of this activity, it makes her death all the more surprising.  A week ago Sunday we were all on Maui sitting by the pool talking politics as well as commenting on how wonderful life is.  A week later Dennis is a widower, Sherry is without a business partner, and the kids and grandkids have lost the whirlwind power center in their family.

Less than a month ago Barbara wrote a column for WorldNetDaily in her usual no holds barred style regarding the 2012 elections.  If you have not read it, I recommend reading it while thinking of the vibrant energetic woman who wrote it.  You can find it here.

Some may remember Barbara’s other careers. They will remember her years as the Republican National Committeewoman for California, or perhaps who dedicated work at Women’s Lobby in behalf of families and children, or her time as a radio talk show commentator, or her leadership roles in both Republican Women, and the California Republican Assembly.  She filled her time on earth with a multitude of roles.

She knew Presidents and Governors yet retained a common touch.  She knew hard work and success as well as poverty and political failure.  Through it all her faith in her Lord did not waver.  At this point we do not know the exact cause of her death but she went peacefully at home after spending a quiet evening with her family.  R.I.P. friend.