Her book, Barbie Talks!

Gwen's Letter Art business in Las Vegas

 Gwendolyn Joy Florea, 1939 - 2014

From a notice in Facebook, June 24, 2014:

I address you all today with much sadness in my heart. Gwen Florea, Johnny's daughter, passed away on June 18th in Las Vegas. Gwen had been ill for some time but I'm told she passed peacefully. Although I spoke with her many times on the phone, most recently a week ago Sunday, her illness kept us from doing the interview we wanted to do for the book. She was a successful business woman and published author, but most of all, a terrific woman. My condolences to the family, who I've come to know and love. You will be missed, Gwen.

From an email I received from Gwen, 2007:

It was so much fun reading your emails, so I thought I send you a little of my history.

I worked as a hairdresser for a couple of years in Southern California, then moved to St. Thomas V. I. Working there and sailing around the Caribbean.

Back in LA was partners in a bar called the Oar House. Created a wild and crazy sound system which caught the attention of a VP at Mattel. Ended up working at Mattel creating talking and sound toys for many years. Became the voice of the talking Barbie Doll.

After Mattel  worked for a firm as Advertising/PR Director with offices in LA, Paris, and Moscow. Spent three years traveling around the US, Paris, and Moscow running trade shows. Got tired of all the traveling especially to Moscow. My father was a director of over 600 television shows. Thought it would be fun to become a director. Studied continuity (script supervisor). Worked behind the camera as a script supervisor and in front as an actress part time. During this time I was a volunteer for many charities, raising millions of dollars. Ended up working full time as a professional fundraiser.

Was diagnosed with MS and told I would not walk if I kept working in high stress jobs.

When I was at MiCoHi, El Camino, and UCLA, I studied fine arts. Created letter art using special designs for each letter. Moved to Maui to kick back and paint. Got a position painting my letter art in the window of an art gallery in Lahina for several years. Moved to Las Vegas and am plying my art trade at Planet Hollywood. Wrote the book about my adventures at Mattel and how I became the voice of Barbie. I love the two web sites you created for me.

     Gwen Florea, August 2, 2007

From MCHS classmate, George Laun, February 8, 2016:

Now I remember her face. Boy, she turned out to be a real beauty also. What a life she had.

From MCHS classmate, Art Decker, March 1, 2016

My Mom went to high school with her Dad, Johnnie. She met Gwen when she was working with her dad on the set of Chips.

From MCHS classmate, Vince Fennell, March 1, 2016

Hi Herman, she was quite a woman and had a great life it seems. Lots of talent used well.

You are the class historian and must continue to do this important work.

Love, Vince Fennell

From MCHS classmate, Ken Ziegler, March 3, 2016

Gwen had the first swimming pool in the So Bay Sweet girl

Best Regards, Ken

From MCHS classmate, Gwen Strong (Myers), March 3, 2016

Gwen lived an interesting life. So sorry to hear this.