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Barbara Ruth Howard

February 27, 1945 ~ October 25, 2021 (age 76)


Barbara Ruth Howard, 76, of Marlborough, NH passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home on October 25th, 2021 with family at her side. She was born on February 27th, 1945 in Staten Island, NY to the late Muriel Elizabeth Burbank (Apgar) and Richard Mayberry Burbank. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her mother in law Hazel E. Casillo of Keene, her son Kevin S. Burbank of Langdon, and her beloved husband of 43 years James E. Howard of Marlborough. Barbara was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother who loved her family and friends. She was a faithful and devoted member of the Marlborough Federated Church since moving to Marlborough in 1971. She served her community by volunteering for countless activities over the years through her church, the Marlborough Elementary School, The Ladies Circle, and Evening United groups. If there was something going on in town, she was there. She was known by her friends and family as someone who was always laughing and fun to be around. Her relationship to Christ and her family were anchors in her life. Her generosity is unparalleled. She was someone who would give you her last dime if you were in need. Barbara was always up for something fun. She facilitated many activities for the children in our area, serving as a Girl Scout Leader, assisting with 4-H activities, and leading educational tours to the nation’s capitol via the American Heritage Tour for 15 years. She spread joy by performing as a clown for church events many years ago. She loved to prepare delicious food for her friends and family. Her loved ones will especially miss her Green Jello Masterpiece and her famous Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. Barbara was a devoted friend and maintained very strong friendships throughout her life. She always made time for her friends via activities like her “lunch bunch group” and regular “card party” get-togethers. She never met a stranger and had an uncanny ability to connect with folks from all walks of life. She was the kind of neighbor you would want to have. Before retirement Barbara held several positions around town and was a very hard worker, instilling a strong work ethic among her children. Most notably she loved her work family at Yankee Magazine in Jaffrey and made lifelong friendships through her time at that company. She also worked at Chesco in Keene where she provided care for adults with intellectual disability in the community and at their homes. After retirement she enjoyed caring for her grandchildren Mason, Noah and Kenzie at her home. Barbara is survived by her son, Edward J. Howard (Melissa) of Marlborough, her daughter, Ellen M. Howard (Michael Clair) of Asheville; her grandchildren, Mason J. Howard, Noah S. Howard, and Mackenzie R. Howard of Marlborough; Norah L. Clair and Conan J. Clair of Asheville, NC. She is also survived by her loving sister Carole B. Vetland formerly of Staten Island, NY now of Pompano Beach, FL and her brother Richard M. Burbank of Staten Island; sisters in law Shirley Leckie Reed of St. Paul MN, Casandra M. Silk of Kingston, RI, and Cindy J. Letendre (John) of Keene; many beloved nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, special friends and neighbors. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff of Four Seasons Hospice and Hospice and Community Services (HCS) of Keene for their excellent care and compassion. The family will be holding a private graveside service on November 27th, 2021 in Marlborough, NH, followed by a celebration of life on June 18th, 2022. Details will be forthcoming on time and location for her celebration of life in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Federated Church of Marlborough, 16 Pleasant Street, Marlborough, NH 03455. To plant a tree in memory of Barbara, please visit our floral store.

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