Patricia H. Barber, 87, of Newark, DE passed away Thursday, July 1, 2021, just three days before her 65th wedding anniversary with her husband Jon.
Pat was born to Ann and Jesse Hicks in Schenectady, NY. As the youngest, with two older brothers and an older sister, despite many attempts at dates, no boy was ever good enough for their younger sister. It was while at Schenectady Ellis Hospital School of Nursing that she went on a blind date with a man who was promised to be a good dancer, Union College engineering student Jon Barber.
Pat practiced nursing early on as an emergency room nurse at Seaford Hospital and later she found her place at Hillside House Nursing Home in Wilmington, where her caring heart found an outlet making her patients family to their dying day.
Pat found strength from her faith through the loss of patients, siblings, and her own children. Through these challenges, she researched various religions and points of view, ever grappling with the truth. She found that truth in Catholicism and practiced it at her home congregation of Resurrection Parish of Wilmington, DE and in the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales Association.
As a mother of six children in a span of nine years, parenting became her full-time job. She was a mom who focused on the needs of each child, enabling them to reach their potential, and their dreams, no matter their birth limitations.
After Jon retired, Pat and Jon were able to travel the world, first by camper, later by boat, and then by plane. Pat was a planner of trips and adventures, both for herself and others, including zip-lining, hot air ballooning, parasailing, and roller coasters.
Pat always saw the joy in life, loving a good pun and play on words, often breaking out in chuckles. She could find the fun in anything. She would even take her youngest child, Betsy on long drives with the purpose of getting lost to have the adventure of finding a new way home.
She also was a great source of support and care, whether with a listening ear, or clever scheming to enable you to do what you longed to do, whether you wanted to or not. Getting a mysterious package in the mail that could be traced back to Pat, who would explain that she just knew you needed this stainless steel scrubber, which would last for months, was not an uncommon occurrence.
Pat and Jon worked their whole lives giving to others, in too many ways to list. Most recently, they were recognized for their contributions to the National Alliance for Mentally Ill of Delaware. Donations in her memory may be made to NAMI-DE or to Resurrection Parish.
Pat always said, “Giving begins at home.” She gave of her strength, heart, and whimsy to all, but first and most importantly to her family. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by children Jon Barber and Betsy Barber and brothers James Hicks and David Hicks.
Survivors include sister Elizabeth (Bernie) Meyer of Southborough, MA, children Pamela (Gary) Malkin of Finksburg, MD, Sandy (Eddie) Lewis of Encinitas,CA, James Barber of Wilmington, DE, Jeff (Cindy) Barber of Vancouver, WA; grandchildren: Erika Safford, Drew Malkin, Meg Lewis, Josh Barber, Karina Barber; and great grandchildren, Nellie Safford, Hugo Safford.
Visitation will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 29 at Resurrection Parish, 3000 Videre Dr, Wilmington, followed by Mass at 11 a.m. Refreshments will follow. Interment of ashes will be private.
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National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
2400 W. 4th. Street, Wilmington DE 19805
Parish of the Resurrection
3000 Videre Drive,Skyline Ridge, Wilmington DE 19808