Thousand Oaks, CA
Barbara Kustudia was among family when she passed away at her home in Thousand Oaks on April 20, 2022. Her passing marked the end to a beautiful life she shared with her husband and family. For them, she was the most wonderful, loving person imaginable.
Barbara was born in Missoula, Montana in October of 1938 to Evelyn (Carlson) and William Cadieux. She grew up in Piltzville, in the shadow of the Anaconda Company mill, and graduated from the Bonner School and Missoula County High School (class of 1956). After high school, she went to work and it was on the job at the now-gone Stoick Drugs in downtown Missoula where she met Lou Kustudia, a coal miner’s son and a first-generation University of Montana grad from Washoe, Montana. Four months later, in February of 1960, the two were married in Elizabethtown, Kentucky where Lou attended armor training at Fort Knox before being stationed overseas with the US Army.
They would spend the next sixty-two years together in an amazing partnership, raising a family of three children. Their marriage took them first to Germany, where Lou was stationed for 2½ years, and where their first son was born. Returning home with a Volkswagen Beetle, Barb and Lou followed work to southern California, where their daughter and next son were born. Ultimately, they settled in the Conejo Valley in Ventura County in 1975.
After three decades in the aerospace industry, Lou retired in 1998. He and Barb spent the next quarter century happily retired. They worked on house projects. Barb had an eye for beauty, which could be seen in her beautiful home and lovingly planned and tended backyard landscape. It was a daily joy for her and anyone else who beheld it. She loved spending time with her grandkids and enjoyed traveling domestically and abroad, from Mexico to New Zealand. But more than anywhere else, they came home to Montana, returning yearly to visit family and enjoy the long summer days. Barb always held Montana close to her heart. She spoke warmly of a childhood in Piltzville at the base of Bonner Mountain along the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers.
Barb’s physical beauty was surpassed only by her inner beauty. She loved her family more than anything and they loved her back equally. She was the quiet matriarch at the center of broad web of family and friends. She was just fun to be around. She had a wry wit, sometimes pointed but never mean, and often delivered with just a seemingly innocent question. She was a keen follower of the news and always maintained a compassionate outlook for the world. Late in life, she took an ardent interest in sports, particularly the Griz, the Rams, and the Angels. She loved a good game of pinochle with family and an evening G&T on the garden patio with Lou.
Barbara is survived by her husband Louis; children Michael, Michele, and Greg, and their partners and spouses Marci Anderson, Andy Prem and Jennifer Kustudia; grandchildren Lauryn, Katie, Alex, and Ryan; brother Dick Graven; sister Mary Lou Lindsay; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, and her younger brother, William Cadieux.
No funeral services are planned at this time though a celebration of life ceremony will be held in late June. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to a favorite nonprofit in Barbara’s name.
Parting words should come from Barb herself, who signed off many a conversation with a simple, “Okay my dear, carry on, carry on.” We shall, but with her forever in our hearts.
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