Joan G. (Gotwals) Schaefer

April 9, 1934 ~ November 2, 2020 (age 86)


Joan Whitney (Gotwals) Schaefer, 86, of Barrington, RI, died with grace and peace on November 2, 2020. She was born April 9, 1934 in Philadelphia, the daughter of Vira and Benjamin Gotwals, and beloved sister to Kiki, Ginny, and Mimi. Active all her life, she studied ballet and was a swimming champion in her youth. Her favorite times occurred in Wellsville, NY (her Mother’s home town), where her family would visit her numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins, and spen summers on Cuba Lake. She attended Stephens School, and Mount Holyoke College. She married James G. Schaefer of Greenwich, CT, in 1956, and moved to Glens Falls, NY. They were married for 56 years and had 4 children, James, Jr., Pamela, Richard, and Jonathan. The family moved to Barrington in 1971. Soon thereafter, Joan went back to school for Library Science and started a career at 40. She was the Children’s librarian in Portsmouth briefly before moving to the Barrington Library, where she worked for 22 years (never taking a single sick day), the last 12 as Director. She supervised the move of the library from Town Hall to the former Peck School, and the taking of the collection online. As children’s librarian, she memorized children’s stories and performed them for the children. Later she started groups for reading, celebrating, and discussing Novels, Short Stories, Poetry, and Plays. She was a very involved member of the Barrington Presbyterian Church, serving as elder several times, teaching numerous Sunday School classes, and never missing an Easter Sunrise service (which sometimes landed on her birthday). She was always active, participating in several tennis groups and early women’s exercise classes. She was a beloved and inspiring daughter, sister, wife, Mother, and grandmother. She was classical and also thoroughly modern. Everybody remembers her boundless energy, open hearted enthusiasm, quick wit, thoughtful intelligence, and ever-present smile.. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Barrington Public library  281 County Road, Barrington, RI 02806  or, in Joan's memory. Link for Service Below

Topic: Joan Schaefer Memorial Service
Time: Nov 14, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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