Barbara Louise Moran of Eastham, Massachusetts, died peacefully on May 9, 2022 at the age of 74 following a long battle with cancer. She was the pride and joy of her parents Thomas and Rosebud Moran who preceded her in death and guided her to be a person of faith and good character in life. She was beloved by her sisters Marilyn (Moran) Hartley Hunter and Karen (Moran) Shanahan, and brother-in-law Mike (Hunter). “Auntie B” was universally adored by her nieces and nephews: James Carl Hartley III, Melissa (Hartley) Ginotti, her god-daughter Melanie (Hartley) Parison, Marcus Shanahan, god-son Matthew Shanahan, Seth Shanahan, Luke Shanahan, twelve great nieces and nephews, and three great great nephews and nieces. Barb was also dearly treasured by her closest friend Clare Taylor Neseralla; they shared many a laugh and a few tears, as best friends do. She touched the lives of many cousins, friends, students and colleagues. She graced us with her abiding devotion, love and steadfast presence, and in this we are deeply grateful.
Barbara grew up in Waterbury Connecticut, and earned her master’s degree from Adelphi University. She was a dedicated teacher throughout her life. Over the span of more than 30 years she taught thousands of elementary students in the West Hartford, Connecticut public school system the art of writing, the importance of history, and a multitude of skills that served them well into adulthood. She knew how to command the attention of a noisy classroom with the arch of a brow, and was a master of language; even in everyday conversation her vocabulary was sophisticated and used to great effect in combination with her comedic powers. She was a gifted storyteller who created the most articulate, detailed, and colorful vignettes to ensure maximum engagement. She believed in collegiality and would guide younger colleagues on the finer points of positive teamwork and to always take the higher ground. Even in retirement, she taught cooking classes and never hesitated to season her subject matter with insightful life lessons.
An avid and accomplished home chef, she loved experimenting with exotic flavors and ingredients in the kitchen, and her turducken feast will live on in infamy! Her taste in music was also diverse; at the top of her list of all time favorites were Prince and Freddie Mercury. She had an open mind and heart, and an adventuresome spirit.
Barbara was affectionate, loyal, and cared deeply about others. She showed her commitment to her family and friends in hundreds of ways big and small – she never forgot a birthday card, was persistent in sharing/connecting articles and news items of interest with every member of the family, and it was very common for her to share a kind note or gift to express her love. She had a knack for making people feel special because she took the time to see and know them.
She believed in service and delivered meals, supported military families, sent care packages to teachers throughout the United States, and donated to more than 50 charitable causes each year. Upon retirement Barbara was active in her church and civic community.
Barbara created a wonderful family gathering place and home for her retirement years on Cape Cod, and played host to many reunions and vacations that would not have happened otherwise. She was rightfully very proud of this accomplishment; for many years, she drove six hours each week to clean on “turnover” days when the house served as a vacation rental. She wryly questioned her relatives’ judgment when they insisted on always wanting to visit her over the Independence Day holiday.
Barbara was drawn to the ocean and after first exploring Hawaii in 2004, her dream was to move to Maui. She spent two winters enjoying the island paradise before her illness restricted her travel, but she took every opportunity to keep her Hawaiian memories alive. She became a devoted “cat mom” in her final years and adored her four exotic cats she gave Hawaiian names.
When Barb brought you into her circle you never doubted her love and support. She gave us all a mentor who showed how faith and prayer can help us through tough times. She was dearly loved and will be deeply missed by many.
Moe i ka Maluhia Barbara, Rest in Peace.
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No public memorial services are scheduled at this time. Barbara will be memorialized and her life celebrated as part of an Eternal Reef burial, to be scheduled later this year.