Garé's overwhelming interest throughout her entire life was art. Already when she was a toddler she was drawing with pencils and luckily her parents acknowledged her talents and encouraged her. Here is a little more information covering Garé's first 5 decades.



Mommy Ethel

Ethel's Bible



Frederick William Williams (born 1883 in Cifn Bychan, North Wales, England) was an architect. He immigrated to Australia where he stayed for a number of years before he settled on the Hawaiian Islands during World War One. Williams had a brother, Leonard, who lived in London, England.

Ethel Harriet Banning Williams (born 1888 in Buxton, England), referred to by Garé as Mommy, presumably was a typical housewife devoted to taking care of her family consisting of husband and two children. After her death Garé kept her very worn Christian Bible as well as a snapshot of her.
Apparently, Ethel had an artistic vein; at least, Garé kept a poetic essay of hers written in very flowery phrases. It was called My Garden and began:
This is the most enchanting garden and the most enchanting hour of all, as the tired looking sun sinks slowly in its golden old age, enhancing the whole island with an afterglow of magic coloring. This evening the towering crown of old Tantalus has broken up the clouds and sent cool little showers to bathe and refresh the earth. The mountains are lovely tonight for the mists are draped so luxuriously over them in shades of pearl, rose pink, and lavender, and the whole of nature seems to really be enjoying this fleeting colorful interlude ......


Miss Louisa Palmer



Little Margaret started in the 5-year old, exclusive Hanahauoli (originally: Hanahau'oli) Elementary School in Honolulu in 1924. She was given the nickname Garé because the class had another Margaret present and Garé lost the 'battle' of the name. Miss Louisa Palmer served as head principal for the school starting the very same year and Garé must have liked her very much, because she kept a newspaper clipping announcing Palmer's retirement many years later, onto which she affectionately wrote A Good Woman.

In 1930 Garé started at Punahou Academy Junior High School (formerly named Oahu College) in Honolulu. The school was much later known as 'The Greenest School in America', and it has produced several famous Americans; Presidential candidate for the 2008 elections Barack Obama is one.

In 1936 Garé won the first of 4 annual scholarships at the highly esteemed Vesper George School of Art in Boston, Massachusetts. To win just one scholarship was a major achievement in itself, but Garé's feat must have been unprecedented!
The same year she had graduated with honours from Punahou and was voted Honor Graduate of the Punahou Class of '36.

In June of 1941 Garé graduated from the Vesper George School of Art, and was now - at the age of 23 - a fully trained artist with a specialty in painting, which was to be her vocation for the rest of her life.


Hard at work in Hemet circa 1942



The small family moved several times in Garé's first years. The reasons are uncertain, but might have something to do with father Frederick's job as an architect. It is certain, however, that the family moved from Hilo in the island of Hawaii (the biggest island in the Hawaiian Islands) to the capital city of Honolulu on the smaller island of Oahu (presumably in the early 1920s).
Then, in 1933, the family uprooted and moved from the islands to Long Beach, California, only to return to Honolulu in 1936, but Garé did not follow. Due to a scholarship she instead moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where she attended art school for the next years. For some unknown reason she decided to spend some of the winter 1936-37 in New England, though.
When Garé had graduated in June 1941 she returned to Honolulu to settle with her family. This was a half year before the Japanese attack on the American Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor.
In 1942 Garé moved to the hamlet of Hemet, California, (only 300 inhabitants at the time), and it was here she met another Hemet resident, Carl Barks, whom she married 12 years later.



Not much is known about Garé's first marriage, but it lasted between the mid 1940s to 1950 or 1951. Her husband was R.E. Carroll and she took his last name and was known in the community of Hemet as Garé Carroll. Remarkably, she kept Carroll as her surname until mid 1954, when she married Carl!



From 1942 Garé spent the remaining war years as a draftsman for the McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company. They were at the time building warplanes, and Garé was in the drafting department, lettering the drafting pages. This was not exactly a new experience for her, as she had, as a teenager, often helped her architect father with drafting work.
A small curiosity: The McDonnell Douglas plant was situated near the new Disney studios in Burbank (in fact, the finished planes often thundered over the studios to their new destinations to the aggravation of the Disney staff). When Garé got her employment her future husband, Carl, had just terminated his employment at Disney....


'Welcome Home' reception



All of her working life Garé was acknowledged as a brilliant and creative artist in several fields. Mostly so as a landscape painter. Her scrapbook contains numerous newspaper clippings with headers such as Girl Genius, Garé Williams Honored At Aloha Reception, Talented Artist, Punahou Graduate Is Given Distinction, and Hawaiian-born Girl Genius At Painting.
In September 1935 Garé held her first art exhibition consisting of 24 paintings at the Assistance League Club in Hollywood, California. In the following years she maintained her own annual art exhibitions at different galleries in the Hollywood area. They were all successes with both guests, notabilities, and critics.
In 1939 Garé was invited to be included in the 1939-40 edition of the prestigious American Women's Who's Who, because of her prominence as an artist. She was included in the book for a number of years, and from 1941 she was also mentioned in the International Blue Book and the International Women's Who's Who. Furthermore, she was mentioned in the very prestigious, annual publications The International Bluebook and Dictionary of Notable American Women.
In 1941 - upon returning to her native islands - Garé was guest of honour at a party where she exhibited several of her paintings. Among the guests were Governor of the Hawaiian Islands, Joseph B. Poindexter (sitting with Garé behind him), and actress Joan Fontaine (standing to his left).