Margaret Lee Barbour


Margaret Lee Barbour of Richmond, Massachusetts, passed away on August 15, at the age of 97. She knew that she would enter the kingdom of heaven with great joy to see her Savior and others awaiting her there. She died peacefully at home, surrounded by her family.
Margaret was born on February 21, 1922 in Glenwood Park, Bluefield, West Virginia, to Virginia Summers Faulkner and Clyde William Faulkner. She was the youngest of five children. When Margaret was four years old, her mother passed away. Margaret went to live with her grandparents, Martha Jane and James Howard Summers, on their farm, called Summerholme, in Bluestone Valley in Virginia. During her childhood at Summerholme, Margaret was showered with love by her grandparents, many aunts and uncles, and other relatives such as her special playmate, her cousin Helen.
Margaret attended McLain's Business College in Bluefield, Virginia, and worked as a secretary at the Bluefield Supply Company. She loved to tell the story of how one day, after visiting some girlfriends in a distant town, Margaret got on a train to return to her home in Bluefield. On impulse, she decided to sit next to the most handsome young man in that train car, who turned out to be Paul Kenneth Barbour, her future husband.
Margaret and Paul were married in 1945, and moved to Schenectady, New York, where Paul worked as an engineer for General Electric. Their children Paul Wesley, Elizabeth, and Sarah were born there. Paul's career at General Electric then brought the family to Philadelphia, and finally to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1957.
Margaret and Paul were among the original founders of Grace Church Congregational in Pittsfield, along with other GE families from First Presbyterian Church in Schenectady. At Grace Church, Margaret was a teacher and secretary, and also ensured that every visitor was welcomed. Her Sunday School storytelling with flannelgraph scenes is still remembered fondly. Margaret also helped found the church's Tuesday Afternoon Ladies' Bible Class, which is still meeting, more than 35 years later.
A devoted wife, mother, and homemaker, Margaret especially enjoyed enhancing her children's education. Their childhood was full of books and music (and frequent transport to music lessons). She also gave them the freedom to roam the woods and fields of their Pittsfield neighborhood. The same loving care and encouragement was bestowed on her only grandchild, Sarah's daughter, Hallie.
Margaret also extended her love and creativity to sewing, cooking, and many other home projects, including substantial support for her husband Paul's large-scale vegetable gardening efforts in Pittsfield. The family often traveled back to Virginia to visit both of their families in the Bluefield area. In her later years, Margaret also traveled with her friends and with her daughters and their families to France, the British Isles, Bermuda, Canada, and many places in the United States, especially the coast of Maine.
Margaret was predeceased by her husband Paul, her son Paul Wesley, and her sisters and brothers Irene, Pauline, Clyde William Jr., and Virginia, and a stepbrother, Charles Faulkner. She is survived by daughters Sarah Novak (Glenn), with whom she made her home in Richmond, Massachusetts for the past eighteen years, their daughter Hallie; her daughter Elizabeth Barbour (Richard Benoit) of Worthington, Massachusetts and her daughter-in-law Jean Barbour of Claremont, New Hampshire.
A memorial service and reception in honor of Margaret were held at Grace Church Congregational in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on August 22, with the Reverend Thomas Bridgman officiating.
Local services include a calling hour on Monday, August 26, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Mercer Funeral Home, 1231 West Cumberland Road, Bluefield, West Virginia. The funeral service will be held in the Mercer Funeral Home Chapel at 2:00 p.m., with burial to follow at Grandview Memory Gardens in Bluefield, Virginia. The Reverend Dr. Don Scott will officiate.
The family would like to thank the many friends who visited Margaret in her last days, bringing prayers, music, Scripture reading, and loving conversation. Also appreciated is the care provided by the caregivers of Family Care Plus Live-In of Stratford, Connecticut. The family is also grateful for the compassionate care for Margaret from the Community Health Association of Richmond and West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and HospiceCare of the Berkshires.
Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages with the family may do so by visiting
Mercer Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the family of Mrs. Margaret Barbour.
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Published on August 24, 2019
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Mercer Funeral Home
Aug 24, 2019