Sewing 19

Barbara S. (Stearns) Leary

January 22, 1943 ~ January 11, 2022 (age 78)

Obituary

 

 

Barbara Ann Sandstrom Stearns Leary was born to Billie B. Taylor and Whitney R. Sandstrom on January 22, 1943 in Willimantic, CT. Whitney died when she was 3 ½ years old.

Barbara went to kindergarten in Willimantic. When her mother and Willard C. “Bill” Stearns of Mansfield married in 1948, she moved to Mansfield. Like many others of post war years, that school district was expanding. Before graduating as a member of E.O. Smith’s first sophomore class in 1961, Barbara attended Ridges, Annie E. Vinton, and Windham High Schools.

She was formally adopted and officially became a Stearns after she was of an age to enable her participation in that decision, but she was always considered to be Bill’s daughter.

After attending Morse School of Business, she was employed as a nursing unit secretary at Windham Hospital until she and Leo started their family in Columbia.

A wonderful and proud big sister to her younger siblings and always very family oriented, she also enjoyed a lifelong dedication to her church and 4-H.

A special passion of Barbara’s was sewing. In 1994, she organized the Interfaith Sewing and Service Group in Willimantic, serving as the coordinator for 25 years. She was extremely happy with their work over the years; making the school bags for Church World Service School Kits, and many clothes and other items for those less fortunate.

Barbara is survived by her husband of 57 years, Leo, her daughter Cheryl Smith and her husband Ray of Windham, her beloved granddaughter Heather Smith of Windham, sister Ellen (Stearns) Charney and her husband Dennis of Phoeniz, AZ, sister-in-law Katherine Stearns of Mansfield, and many nieces, nephews, and good friends. She was predeceased by her daughter Cynthia, her parents, and brothers David and Jim Stearns.

Barbara’s family will receive relatives and friends on Thursday, January 20, 2022 from 11:00am until 1:00pm at Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson St. Willimantic, CT with her funeral service to follow at 1:00pm at the funeral home. The family will have a memorial service at a later time as well.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the First Congregational Church of Willimantic, 199 Valley St. Willimantic, CT 06226.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara S. (Stearns) Leary, please visit our floral store.


Services

Calling Hours
Thursday
January 20, 2022

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Potter Funeral Home
456 Jackson Street
Willimantic, CT 06226

Funeral Service
Thursday
January 20, 2022

1:00 PM
Potter Funeral Home
456 Jackson Street
Willimantic, CT 06226
Guaranteed delivery before the Funeral Service begins

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