Barbara Holland of Westfield passed away on Sunday, January 12th— at home surrounded by her loving family. Barbara was born on March 4, 1929 in Torrington Connecticut. She lived a vibrant life and truly left a legacy of love and family for us to cherish. Barbara descends from the Wyman family of Blandford. Her mother, the late Edythe Genevieve Wyman of Blandford Massachusetts, was married to Paul Wallbank of Torrington Connecticut. Barbara’s father Paul was killed in World War II and is buried in Manila on the Philippine islands. Her mother Edythe lived until the age of 96 and died in Westfield in August of 2006. Barbara grew up with her two brothers Joe and Paul in Blandford. They spent time together fishing and swimming. Barbara was also an exceptional tennis player. Barbara was married at a young age to the late Robert Marshall and had her first three children—Gail Freeman of Westfield; Robert Marshall of West Springfield; and Paul Marshall of South Korea. Barbara attended the Springfield Hospital School of Nursing and graduated with her class in 1961. Barbara was one of the first non-traditional nursing students— divorced and a single mom, to complete and graduate the nursing program. Following in 1962, Barbara was then married to Robert Charles Holland in Springfield. She was blessed with five more children—Scott Holland of Tampa, FL; Shari Holland (deceased 1995), Debra Benham of Tolland, MA; Bonnie Brown of Westfield; and Shane Holland (deceased 1995). Barbara was an early advocate for children and families with special needs. In 1963, Barbara gave birth to Shari Ann who was born with Down Syndrome. Against the advice of the times, Barbara brought Shari home to her family and selflessly, and without complaint, cared for her in sickness and health for 32 years until Shari passed in 1995. Barbara’s nursing skills and devotion to the care of Shari and all of her family has been an inspiration for many to follow in her footsteps. Her daughter Bonnie became a nurse, as well as six of her grandchildren: Michelle LaBombard of Westfield; Renee Mullen of Westfield; Rob Baribeau of Palmer; Brenna Holland of Tampa, FL; Samantha Holland of Tampa FL; Ruth Marshall of Orlando FL; including one great grandchild— Matt LaBombard of Westfield. Barbara was an avid reader, loved good movies, enjoyed traveling to see family, and lovingly cared for all her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her life revolved around family and she made everyone feel very special and well loved. Barbara loved nature—birds, bees, butterflies, and trees; she was well read and always excited to give an interesting tidbit of an article that she had read or a documentary or movie that she had watched. Since 2014, Barbara resided at the Arbors in Westfield Massachusetts. She always remarked how wonderful the staff and residents were to her over the years. Barbara‘s family would like to express our deepest appreciation to the staff and residents of the Arbors of Westfield Massachusetts for their steadfast care and companionship given to our mother. Barbara’s family also would like to recognize the doctors and nurses from Baystate Hospital; the staff from Heritage Hall West (Daisy Wing) in Agawam; and most recently the loving care provided by Baystate Hospice— specifically her exceptional nurse Lorianne and home health aide Robin. Barbara was a Christian with unwavering faith; she looked forward to meeting her Savior Jesus Christ and also those family who have passed before her—especially her mother and father, and her beloved daughter Shari and son Shane. Barbara’s legacy was her family. She leaves her brother Terry, her six remaining children, 18 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren to honor and remember what she taught us, "To do the best we can-one day at a time, to love and forgive each other and never lose faith in the promise of His grace, redemption, and everlasting life.” A memorial service and burial for Barbara will be held in early summer in Blandford. Notification with specific information regarding the memorial service will be printed in the newspaper and posted on social media a few weeks prior to the service. In lieu of any flowers, donations may be made to: Baystate Health Hospice Foundation, 280 Chestnut St. Springfield, MA 01199, Memo: Barbara Holland, (Hospice Home Health Care)
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