Barbara J. Crocker, 97, of Riverside, passed away peacefully on March 26, 2023, surrounded by members of her extended family and the caring and compassionate staff at Crestwood Nursing Home in Warren. She was the beloved wife of her soulmate and best friend, the late Roland F. Crocker. Barbara was a proud native of Bethel, Maine, born on May 3, 1925 to the late Wallace and Lilias Coolidge and was sister to the late Edgar A. Coolidge (his late wife, Mina).
Barbara is survived by her nephew, Ronald E. Coolidge, of Quincy, MA; cousin Eleanor Brooks, of Bethel, ME; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews on the Crocker side of the family. For many years, Barbara was blessed by the loving friendship and caring support provided by Donna Hickey, Patricia Conaty and Charles and Karen Szylin, all of Riverside. Though Barbara didn't have any biological children, through her “adoption” and steadfast devotion to Ellen Schroeder and Sharon Chauncey, she was cherished by her "extended” Schroeder and Chauncey families and known affectionately as Aunt B.
Barbara was employed in the field of nursing for most of her adult life, serving her country in the nursing cadet corps, then as an OR nurse, and eventually retiring from private practice.She was an active member of Riverside Congregational Church where she sang in the choir, organized Christmas Bazaars, helped cook and serve at many church-sponsored dinners, volunteered at the Cobweb Thrift Shop, and was a valued participant and leader of numerous Bible studies.
Barbara cherished time spent with family and friends and was especially loved for hosting large Thanksgiving gatherings, pizza nights on her porch, organizing creative crafting activities, her lifelong love of horses, playing piano for sing-alongs in her basement, her amazing strawberry rhubarb pie, bugles and shrimp dip, making hundreds of melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter balls at Christmas time, and for her graceful presence and contagious laughter. When entertaining family and friends, Barbara would rarely miss an opportunity to point out the various birds that frequented her several feeders (she particularly loved bluebirds) or share wonderful stories of growing up on her cherished farm in Bethel, and of her favorite pony, Silver Queen.She will be forever missed by all who knew and loved her..
A visitation and brief service will be held at Smith-Mason Funeral Home, 398 Willett Ave., Riverside, RI 02915, on Wednesday, April 5, 2023,.Visitation will be from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM. A Funeral Service will held in Smith-Mason Funeral Home following visitation at 10:30 AM. Interment and graveside blessing will follow at Olivet Memorial Park Reed Street, East Providence. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Cobweb Thrift Shop in Riverside, RI (https://rcc-ucc.com/the-cobweb), please scroll down) and/or the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society, Bethel ME (https://bethelhistorical.org/donations/).