We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Barbara McSpadden, former Perrot Reference Librarian and former member of the Perrot Board of Directors. Our thoughts and love are with Barbara’s family at this difficult time.
On May 25, our beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend, Barbara Dodds McSpadden passed away with grace and courage after battling cancer.
She is missed terribly by those whose lives she touched, especially by her husband Peter, sons Douglas, David, Peter C. and grandchildren Kevin, Sean, Liam, and Rhea.
Barbara Dodds McSpadden was born on November 15, 1931 in Oak Park, Illinois and with her family moved to California. During her early years, the Dodds family moved to Garden City, NY where she grew up. Barbara attended Smith College graduating in 1953. She went to work at the National Broadcasting Company as an associate to the Fashion Editor on the “Home Show”, then the daytime part of the “Today-Home-Tonight” NBC television programming package. Later, she moved on to become Director of Female Personnel at the America Fore Insurance Group.
In 1956, while working and living in New York, Barbara met Peter McSpadden After a brief romance, they married in June of that year and, like many young couples, lived happily in New York City. Two years later, the couple moved to Riverside, Connecticut their home for the next 57 years. They had many very close Riverside/Old Greenwich friends and they participated actively at the Riverside Yacht Club.
Barbara always loved books and was a voracious reader. She followed her dream and obtained an MBA degree In Library Sciences in 1976, She then worked as Head Librarian at Greenwich Country Day School and as Reference Librarian at Perrot Memorial Library in Old Greenwich, CT.
Barbara was an outgoing, sparkling, bright person who always reached out to help others. She developed a very special relationship with a Stamford 7th grader who she mentored through High School and into Iona College. That lady now has a successful finance career and they remain close friends. She also encouraged and supported a young summer visitor who now has a family and has remained a friend for many years.
Community volunteer work was always a priority. She was an early Co-Director/Founder of Community Answers, Trustee/Chair of Greenwich Stamford Literacy Volunteers where she tutored many individuals helping with language and social adjustment issues. She also worked with Call for Action, was President of the MarvelWood School Parents Association, co-Chaired the Eastern Middle School PTA, and was Vice President of the Greenwich Junior League.
One of Barbara’s favorite places was her second home in Rockport, Maine where life is different and quieter. She golfed with many friends at the Megunticook Golf Club, boated around Penobscot Bay and enjoyed looking East to early sunrises. Many close friends were made in her 34 years on the shore of Penobscot Bay. A favorite place became the Farnsworth Art Museum where she connected as a member and supporter of the Education Committee.
She didn’t waste time with her travel back and forth from Maine to Connecticut. Along the way she visited the interesting small businesses that in earlier days dotted her route. These visits became the source of her fun to read book titled “Bargain Hunting Along the Coast of Maine
All in all, a wonderful and varied life. As she said before leaving, “I’ve been so blessed”. So have we just for her being with us.
Barbara was an Elder of The First Presbyterian Church, Greenwich and a Memorial Service will be held there at 2:00pm on June 13, 2015.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to: Stamford/Greenwich Literacy Volunteers of America, 66 Palmer Hill Rd. Stamford, CT 06902 or to the Farnsworth Art Museum.
-Published in the Greenwich Time, May 27th, 2015