Barbara Ellen Ecker Sherwood of Woodbury, CT. joined her husband Albert Carrington Sherwood and daughter Brooke Stiles Sherwood and the rest of a multitude of family in eternal rest on Thursday April 18th ,2019, after a long life.
Barbara was born at home on October 27th, 1923 to her parents, Arthur George Ecker and Eva Bilson Ecker in East Hartford, CT. She experienced a fantastic childhood given the times in her own upbringing and the opportunities provided by Uncle Fred at the family dairy farm in Vernon, CT. This Farm eventually became a middle school for the town.
Upon completion of her education in East Hartford Barbara attended UCONN and graduated with a degree in Social work and a minor in English. During this time, she met her lifetime partner, Albert (from Woodbury) via an introduction by Harriet May, Barbara’s first college roommate and best friend. Harriett would later marry the brother of Barbara, George Ecker. While Al was deployed in the European theatre during WW II (He served in Patton’s Third Army), Barbara worked 2nd shift in the factory of Pratt & Whitney during her summer breaks building aircrafts for the war effort.
Upon graduation Barbara would seek new adventurous opportunities that would be a theme with the Sherwood and Ecker women of the family. She was a stewardess in the “olden days” of American Airlines when only single women could work, and the absolute retirement age was 32. When Barbara and Albert were married Feb 8, 1947, Barbara became a life-long member of the Kiwi Organization (named for the plight of the kiwi bird that cannot fly). Amongst her highlights were her adventures below the weather lines in propeller driven DC 3 aircrafts and her serving the aristocracy of the day including Joseph Kennedy.
Upon Alberts return from WW II Barbara and he were married. After his graduation from UCONN school of forestry Albert acquired a job as a Cooper (person trained to make wooden barrels) with Seagram’s distillery in Hope, Arkansas. Barbara worked as a teacher and office worker. After a year they moved back to Woodbury to work in F.F. Hitchcock (a family owned business founded as a general store in 1870).
Barbara & Al would raise their 3 children, Brooke, Jane & Lee, in what would be best described as “domestic tranquility of the day”.
In 1964 Barbara found an opportunity open to women with the Juvenile Court of Connecticut in Bristol, Hartford and Danbury. She served with distinction until her retirement in 1983. Her reputation was her ability “to make people better than their circumstances”.
Barbara’s daughter Jane became involved with American Field Service and Jane spent the summer of 1968 in Malaysia. Barbara turned the challenge of a daughter being overseas to deciding that the family would host students from Thailand, Paraguay and Jordan. Barbara and Al would tell their children, “we might not be able to travel the world, but we can bring the world into our home”. Her children would likewise carry on the family legacy by hosting students from the Philippines, Norway, China, Denmark, Poland, Rwanda, Georgia of the former U.S.S.R., France and more.
In 1983 “Nanny” would retire from the state of Ct. and she and Al moved on to a variety of adventures of their dreams including trips around the U.S. with brother George “Uncle Bud”, trips to Hawaii, China and most importantly their beloved camp in Steuben, Maine.
With Al’s passing in 1993 Barbara was of a spirit to move forward, not one to suffer “pity parties”. She would embark on trips of her choosing including trips to England to visit daughter Brooke (who was serving as assistant to Ambassador William J. Crowe in the U. S. Embassy) or heading to the “camp” in Maine to both enjoy and to do maintenance consistent with the needs on the Maine Coast.
She also became heavily invested in the Woodbury Women’s Club (Founded 1896), being one of a few who would spearhead what is now the famous Woodbury Christmas House Tour (Founded 1995) which has raised significant scholarship dollars for Woodbury students. She loved Woodbury, she loved New England and she loved the U.S.A. and was happiest when she shared all she had to give. This is a legacy we should all aspire to.
We want to acknowledge and thank the legacy of the multitude of caregivers Barbara has had over the recent years. She would enter into a “hospice” oriented care in 2012, graduate from it in early 2014 and survive 5 + years.
Barbara is predeceased by her husband Albert Carrington Sherwood and Daughter Brooke Stiles Sherwood Jaffe. She leaves behind her daughter Jane Sherwood and her husband Frank Jorgensen as well as sons Neil, Ethan and Evan as well as Son Lee and his wife Theresa and daughters Meredith and Victoria.
In Lieu of flowers, Barbara would appreciate a donation to the Woodbury Ambulance Association (Woodburyambulance.com). (PO Box 581, Woodbury, Ct. 06798)
A Funeral Service will be Saturday May 11, 2019 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 294 Main St S., Woodbury. Burial immediately following service at New North Cemetery, Washington Ave. Woodbury. Munson Lovetere Funeral Home assisted the family with the arrangements. To leave an online condolence please visit www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com
Woodbury Ambulance Association
P.O. Box 581, Woodbury CT 06798