Barbara K. (Bishop, Arnold) Neri, 80, of Institute Lane, a retired secretary for the Division of Forest Environment, died Monday, April 11, at Miriam Hospital. She was the wife of Peter Neri for 31 years and the late Robert Arnold for 27 years.
Born in Providence, she was the youngest sister of Edith Spencer, Evelyn Colwell, Gertrude Hopkins, Edna Monroe, Norman Bishop and Martha Burlingame, all children of the late George and Florence May (Crothers) Bishop. She was a longtime resident of Scituate and Smithfield.
Barbara was the Minister of Music at North Scituate Baptist church for 14 years and also served as an organist at several area churches. Besides being an active participant within her church in many ways, she has been a spiritual leader and mentor to countless family, friends, and acquaintances. While working as a school secretary at the Scituate High School, she professed her faith by leading high school students through a support and prayer group that met at school. She continued her ministry with spiritual guidance groups, the longest still meets and is known as C.R.U.N.K.S. (Christians Researching Uncovering New Knowledge in the Spirit).
Barbara was very active in the Boy Scouts and the first woman recipient of the Scouter of the Year Award in 1967.
Barbara was known as “Ma”, “Ma2”, and “Mother Superior” by many people who came to know and love her as she reached out to them through her love of Christ. She best expressed her faith through her music and was a piano teacher for many years.
Besides her husband, she is survived by her sons: Rev. Russell Arnold ( Rev. Debra) of Oakham , MA , David B. Arnold of Foster and Rev. Bruce Arnold ( Evelyn) of O’Brien, FL, a step-daughter Lisa D. Girard (Steven) of Scituate, a former daughter-in-law Dawn Davies, eleven grandchildren, Jeff, Heather, Ben, Deanne, Bryan, Peter, David, Samuel Jon, Jedidiah Seth, Amy, & Mark and six great grandchildren. She was the mother of the late Bethany L. Broadfield and step-mother of the late Steven Neri.
Graveside service will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. at Hopkins Mill Cemetery, Rams Tail Road , Foster. The family will greet guests from 10-11 a.m. with a Memorial Service immediately following at North Scituate Baptist Church, 619 West Greenville Road, North Scituate , RI 02857 . In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to North Scituate Baptist Church.