Barbara Ann (Letourneau) McQuaid, a lifelong resident of Ware, died peacefully on Sunday, February 13, 2022 with her family by her side.
Barbara was born on May 31, 1937 at Mary Lane Hospital to the late Sylvio and Celia (Rymarski) Letourneau of Ware. After graduating from Ware High School in 1955, she earned a BS in Chemistry from Elms College in 1959, and a MS in Natural Science from WPI in 1981. She married her high school sweetheart, William McQuaid, in 1960 and their son was born four years later. She shared her love of chemistry and physics with hundreds of students, first at Chicopee Comprehensive High School and then for many years at Palmer High School.
A gifted pianist, Barbara accompanied area musicals, fashion shows, and senior-center sing-alongs over the years and even had a short stint with Happy Louie. She passed on her love of music to her son, Bill, and her oldest grandson, Sammy. She shared her love of horror movies with her youngest grandson, “Spooky” Luke McQuaid and was a voracious reader. Her backyard birdfeeders were never empty, and as an avid stargazer, she was always eager to witness a meteor shower or an eclipse. Barbara loved nothing more than spending time with friends and family, whether by her pool in the summertime or at holiday gatherings, to which she brought her (in)famous Polish borscht. A good listener with never an unkind word for anyone, Barbara was a joy to be with and never took herself too seriously.
Toward the end of her life, Barbara struggled with too many health issues to list, but maintained a great sense of humor and always put family first. She was blessed with a team of caring aides, especially, Val, Mary, Faith, and Marissa, who helped make her final months more comfortable. At the end, when she was through fighting, she even offered to write her own obituary. During a short collaboration with her son, she said, “Billy, you’re going to put these people to sleep!” So, we will wrap this up quickly now!
Barbara leaves her son, Bill McQuaid, and his wife, Mari (Williams) of Melrose; loving sister, Suzanne (Letourneau) Higney and her husband, Kenny; and grandsons, Sammy and Luke McQuaid. She also leaves sister-in-law, Anna McQuaid of Ware; brother-in-law, Paul McQuaid of North Brookfield; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother, Philip Letourneau; her aunt, Josephine Rymarski; and her husband, Bill McQuaid, whom she decided to go see in time for Valentine’s Day.
Calling Hours will be held on Sunday, February 20, 2022 from 4 - 6 PM in the Cebula Funeral Home Chapel, 66 South Street, Ware.
A Funeral Mass will be offered on Monday, February 21, 2022 at 11 AM in All Saints Church, 17 North Street, Ware.
Burial with Prayers of Committal will follow in New St. William's Cemetery, Ware.
Donations in memory of Barbara, to honor her beloved Aunt Jo, may be sent to Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, MA 02472.
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