Barbara Marshall, 68, passed peacefully on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.
Barbara was born in the Bronx to Albert and Mary Piroch and moved to Elmont, where she lived until she married in 1968. She moved to and resided in Suffolk County until 1987. In June of that year, she and her husband, Jim, came to the Adirondacks on vacation. They loved the area and decided to look for a home. Lightning struck, and they found their current home on the third try. On a “handshake deal” they went home, packed up their Long Island home, sold it and were moved in by August.
Barbara became active in the community and at the Church of the Assumption in Gabriels. She was a fixture at service, helping and singing, getting small groups together to decorate the church for holidays, cleaning, etc.
She worked for a number of years at The Novel Experience book store in Saranac Lake.
She served as town clerk for two years in the early ’90s and, at that time, became involved with the Brighton Town Food Pantry, which she subsequently ran for over 20 years. She worked hard to make it into a thriving pantry that helped anyone who had need. She went out of her way to help people out, and she relished ordering a large variety of foods for people to choose from. She cultivated wonderful relationships with some area businesses, such as Aldi in Saranac Lake, which would donate foodstuffs to the pantry. Barbara was always deeply touched by private donations she would receive from organizations and private donors who lived around the area and those who summered here. She always said she was blessed with the donors, volunteers and the wonderful people at the food bank, etc. When she retired from the pantry earlier in 2017, she handed it off in stellar condition, hoping it would have a long and successful future.
Barbara was a loving and giving person who was dear to many and well loved by those who knew her. She was a Christ follower and believed in giving people the benefit of the doubt: never judging by appearance, or past history or circumstance. She always greeted people with a smile, warm hug and kind word. Anyone who really knew Barbara was aware of her adoration of animals and wildlife. Her family had a menagerie of pets, from any manner of birds to guinea pigs, hamsters, dogs, chinchillas and bunnies, and other fur-babies throughout her life. On Long Island, they would take in and rehab squirrels and other small birds for a group called Volunteers for Wildlife. Even though she was allergic and suffered from asthma, the family had a number of cats throughout the years. She always said, “They’re like potato chips; you can’t have just one.” They were her “babies,” and she couldn’t see a life without them. Her daughter called her “the cat whisperer.”
She will be deeply missed and never forgotten.
She is survived by her husband, Jim, and daughter, Dulcie.
Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations in her honor to the Tri-Lakes Humane Society at tri-lakeshumanesoc.org; the St. John Feral Cat Fund Inc., P.O. Box 2884, Plattsburgh, NY 12901; or High Peaks Hospice and Palliative Care at highpeakshospice.org.
There will be a private memorial at a later date.