Barbara Lee Heineman, 82

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 1:30pm
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Barbara Lee Heineman of Palm Coast, Florida and formerly of Stamford, Conn., passed away on Dec. 13, 2015 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She was 82. Born June 18, 1933 in Hudson, N.Y., she is survived by her husband of 59 years, Nick, as well as three sons: Brett (spouse Bonnie) of Carmel, N.Y.; Scott (Ann) of Arlington Heights, Ill., and Gregg (Sally) of Hawthorn Woods, Ill.; seven grandchildren: Katie, Nicholas, David, Sarah, Andrew, Nicole and Austin. Her parents Craig and Eleanor Thorn, her brother Craig Thorn, sister Sue Pasco, and son Keith Heineman all predeceased her.

Barbara graduated from Hudson High School in 1950 and St. Lawrence University in 1954, with which she maintained close ties. She wrote her SLU class column for many years; was a telethon and fundraising volunteer, served on the Alumni Executive Board, and was Chairwoman for their 15th & 20th reunions. Out of college, she started her career in helping others as a social caseworker for the Westchester Department of Family & Child Welfare, where she witnessed and battled racial inequality. 

Barbara is also a former Director of Volunteers of Quintard Senior Citizen Center; Chairwoman of Public Relations and member of Board of Directors, Visiting Nurse Association; First Vice President of Board of Directors of the King School; Aid for Mentally Challenged Children volunteer at TB and Health Associates; Committee Chairmanships at the United Nations Information Center volunteer; American Cancer Society volunteer; and Director of Public Relations, Conway Import Co., Inc.

Barbara met Nick, her future husband, on a White Plains, New York Ski Club trip, of which he was the president. They wed on April 28, 1956 in Hudson, N.Y., and would begin one of the most loving partnerships that carried on without a single hiccup to their final days together.

They settled into their Stamford, Conn., home where they would reside for the next 40 years, raising their four sons. In the late 1960s they discovered Block Island, R.I., where they would have the good fortune of buying a summer house in 1972. This unassuming Atlantic coast getaway would become a favorite escape for Barbara and family. She loved the clear water, clean beaches and open green spaces of this quaint little island where she, her husband and sons spent many a blissful time. It was also her son Keith’s favorite. He was tragically lost in 1986. The family made a donation that helped build a wing at the island’s medical center in his name.

Barbara “Bobby” Heineman, a.k.a “Burb,” was also an incredible tennis player, swimmer, runner, and she usually ruled the ping-pong table. Her love of life was well known and she was often the life of the party, ruling the dance floor, even when there wasn’t one. She was a big sister and second mother to many, always lending an ear to anyone in need including total strangers. She loved to read and write and many still have her thoughtful letters stashed away. 

The family is planning a celebration of Barbara Heineman’s life this coming summer on Block Island. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation in Barbara’s memory to Block Island Health Services, Box 919, Block Island, RI 02807. As the sole source of healthcare on Block Island, the agency depends upon contributions to provide care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.