Barbara Forde, a former sales representative with BAG MAKERS, passed away on March 31. She was 69.

Born in Wisconsin, Forde moved to Walnut Creek, California, in 1955. She attended Saint Mary’s elementary in Walnut Creek, Carondelet High in Concord, went on to study art at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont.

Forde spent her career in sales, beginning in the apparel industry for Koret of California in San Francisco. She later transitioned to the promotional products industry, at first with Senator Pen and later with BAG MAKERS, Inc, where she spent the final decade of her professional career.

Her success in the promotional products industry earned Forde the affectionate nickname “Bag Lady” and several industry sales awards. She was known for treating her sales calls as visits with people she cared about not only professionally but as dear friends, and her personality filled the room during her entertaining presentations.

Forde’s passion for art was also a big part of her life and she pursued sewing, painting and design—from home décor to over-the-top gifts.

Forde is survived by her sisters Diane Forde, Christine Tomberlin, and Mary King, and nieces and nephews Sarah Forde, Brett and Allison Tomberlin, Ashley Chi, and John and Jacob King.

Services for Forde were held on April 27 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Walnut Creek, with burial at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Lafayette. Memorial donations in her honor can be made to Make A Wish at