Barbara Hopkins Gaudette passed away peacefully on May 24 at the age of 77. She was the fifth of Richard Lewis and Elinor Lord Hopkin’s six daughters, born in 1943 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The family’s hometown was Summit, New Jersey.
Despite Barbara’s childhood wish to grow up and have five sons, she ended up having one son and one daughter with Gerald Leon Gaudette Jr., her husband of 39 years. Barbara and Gerry chose to settle and raise their family in Northbridge, MA. The couple became committed to their community, both actively participating in civic life. Barbara was dedicated to preserving the historical nature of the town’s village centers and the small-town feel of its tree-lined streets. To that end, Barbara sat on various town committees over the span of 34 years. Most significantly, she volunteered 25 years of Tuesday nights and countless hours to the Northbridge Planning Board. The American Planning Association and the People for Effective Government both recognized her efforts, awarding her 1994 Citizen Planner of the Year and 1996 Citizen of the Year, respectively. Barbara was most proud of her work to help establish the Mumford River Walk. No effort was too big or too small -- she and some friends even spent a few years lugging Tide bottles of water downtown to water the planters in Memorial Square.
Barbara always had an eye for seeing and creating beauty. She graduated from Clark University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts, and creative endeavors remained a big part of her life. She enjoyed needlework, quilting, basketmaking, Zentangling, and photography. She also found great pleasure in gardening, and in 1993 earned a Graduate Certificate in Landscape Design from Radcliffe College. She then started Barbara Gaudette Landscape Design, completing many residential design projects for clients in and around Eastern Massachusetts.
Barbara was an early riser and believed in full and productive days. When she wasn’t at her desk or in her garden, you might have found her running, biking solo or in tandem with Gerry, or on the court with one of her weekly tennis groups. She also enjoyed reading, cooking, entertaining, and travelling with Gerry or her grandchildren.
Barbara and Gerry found their favorite place on a weekend getaway early in their marriage. The cottages at Red Gate Farm on Block Island became an annual destination with their children and close family friends. Knowing how special it was there, they eventually put down permanent roots, building a second home on the same property, renamed Trim’s Ridge. They hosted friends and, as their family grew, grandchildren. “Cousins Camp” was a yearly tradition for the grandkids to play on the beach, take hikes, and enjoy the attention of their Grandma Barbara.
Barbara lost Gerry in 2003. She will be missed by her son Lee, his wife Dina, and their children Nicole, Caroline, Peter, and Bobby; by her daughter Jennifer Quinn, her husband Daniel, and their children Eben and Katie; and by her sisters Willafay McKenna (Williamsburg, VA), Joan Howard (Orrington, ME), Susan Woodruff (Chester, NJ), Cathie Coleman (Brick, NJ), and Debby Korray (Miami, FL), her brothers-in-law, and many nieces and nephews. She will remain in the hearts and thoughts of all of her family and friends.
If you would like to make a contribution in Barbara’s memory, her family suggests two local organizations that Barbara supported: The Whitin Community Center (www.whitincommunitycenter.com) or The Whitinsville Social Library, 17 Church St., Whitinsville MA 01588 (www.northbridgemass.org/whitinsville-social-library).
Barbara's Memorial Service will be live streamed Saturday, June 13, at 11AM. Please clink on the link below to join the family for the service.
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