Gare Barks postcard
with a duck drawing by Carl Barks Garé Barks (Margaret Wynnfred Williams) was born on December 6, 1917. She got her name as Garé because there were two Margarets in her class at school, so she elected to go back the shortened name of Garé.

Garé had been born in Hilo and educated in Honolulu, so she knew the islands and their lore. Remembering his early 1960s visits to Carl and Garé, Joseph Cowles wrote in a August 4, 2000 e-mail:

Garé was from Hawaii, and in the early 50's had helped in creating the menehune story that appeared in Uncle Scrooge #4. She kept, in a large cage on the covered patio, a half-dozen tropical birds-yellow-billed magpies, I think-which she called "The Beagle Boys."

I don't recall them having any other pets at the time, probably due to Carl's allergies. He said he liked dogs, though, particular huskies, with their expressive faces. He drew them in several stories, always managing to capture the unique, humorous, husky personality.

One of Garé's paintings was chosen to be sent to soldiers during the Gulf War. Most of her paintings were of nature, i.e., mountains, trees, deer etc. They were bought by "Leanin Tree" a company that produces picture post cards or rather folded cards for messages. When the U.S.A. was at war in "Desert Storm" against Iraq the company went through its many cards and artists and finally picked one of her paintings to send as greeting cards to the troops to remind them of home.

Garé died on March 10, 1993. She is now buried next to Carl Barks at Hillcrest Memorial cemetary in Grants Pass.


Frank Woolard also wrote down some recollections.
Leanin' Tree Museum [Leanin' Tree Publishing Company?] produced at least 42 postcards from Garé's paintings and much of her art is today stored at Leanin' Tree Museum.
Picture on this page contains bird standing in water in a forest [card].

Garé Barks Memoriam

John & Shelagh Lustig,
William & Elaine Van Horn,
March 11, 1993

It happens too often. Someone dies and then people begin singing their praises. And it's too late. That's the tragedy.

Garé Barks did receive recognition and some fame during her life. She was a successful landscape artist whose work graced the front of numerous greeting cards. In addition, it was well known that she lettered and assisted with the artwork for many of Carl's greatest stories. Carl, of course, received most of the attention. And that's only right. But it seems a shame that Garé -- who doubtlessly contributed so much to all those wonderful duck stories -- never received more attention.

Almost two years ago we had the great pleasure of visiting the Barks'. Garé seemed genuinely surprised when we asked her to autograph some books along with Carl. The attention appeared to embarrass her. But she also seemed pleased. By then Garés health had already begun failing. And yet, she still came across as this incredibly feisty woman. Yes, she was gracious and friendly. But she wasn't someone to be pushed around. At least, not easily.

She spoke about a San Diego Comic Con she attended with Carl. This was many years ago before they fully realized how popular Carl had become. Suddenly a mob of fans stampeded towards Carl. Garé had to move aside to keep from being trampled. She was afraid. Not so much for herself, but for Carl. She couldn't get through the crowd to him. In the following years she protected Carl from many over-zealous fans and overly-inquisitive reporters. She became the dragon at the door. The feisty little woman you had to get past in order to speak with the great man.

Surely this was a thankless task. But love is a series of thankless tasks. And in the end it is it's own reward. So maybe it doesn't matter that Garé didn't receive massive amounts of media attention and wild public accolades. That probably would have embarrassed her. In fact, if Garé could read this right now, she'd probably be embarrassed. She'd undoubtedly be surprised. And hopefully she'd be pleased.


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