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Mary Christine Barber

2021-02-25

Mary Christine (Schwabl) Barber, passed away on February 25, 2021 at home in Fernandina Beach, FL, after a long battle with cancer.
She was the wonderful wife of Rich Barber; daughter of the late Henry and Doris (Evans) Schwabl; mother of Dave (Melissa), Todd (Jennifer); grandmother of Meredith, Claire, Alex, Lucas, Dana, Quinn Barber; sister of the late Peter (Lois) Schwabl.

Born on August 4, 1948, in Buffalo, NY, Mary grew up in Cheektowaga, NY and graduated from Maryvale HS in 1966. After attending Potsdam State College, she worked at M&T Bank and married Rich in 1968. Married at a young age, she raised three boys (two sons and a husband), made wonderful homes and friends in Williamsville, Cheektowaga and Glenwood, NY. Weekends were spent at the family cottage on Conesus Lake or skiing at Kissing Bridge. Aside from being a terrific wife and mother, Mary was a great party planner, board game player and vacation/travel organizer.

She always kept romance fresh by arranging regular ‘dates’ and taking Rich away on wedding anniversaries each year. Many trips were to mystery destinations (for Rich) and most were near the water.

When the boys were older, she worked part-time at Hopevale School for Girls and for a small software firm. She tutored English as a Second Language for the Literacy Volunteers organization. After the boys were off to college and on their own, Mary was able to travel with Rich on vacation and business trips in the US and abroad. She was an adventurer, seeking out ancestors in Liverpool, England while Rich worked, or heading out to shop in Hong Kong. She negotiated on a calculator and bought so many ‘bargains’ she had to buy an extra suitcase to get it all home. Migrating to Amelia Island to enjoy nature and life near the water every fall was another adventure.

Time with her grandchildren was cherished. One granddaughter recalls riding in the backseat and doing or saying something that made her Grandma laugh so hard she started crying. Then there was a ride with the grandsons in the backseat making rude noises. Mary tried to be serious and hold it back but broke up laughing with the boys. She was so proud of the wonderful people that her boys and their spouses have raised.

Mary is remembered for her ability to seek out new experiences, places, sights, and restaurants. She was a voracious reader who enjoyed solving difficult puzzles and competing in games. She enjoyed decorating, furnishing and entertaining.

Due to COVID and geography, the family is considering future options for a memorial. Instead of flowers or donations, consider buying yourself a flower arrangement or plant to remind you of Mary.