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Barbara Tessier

Barbara Mae Tessier

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020
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Obituary

Barbara Mae (Navickas) Tessier, 90, passed away on August 19, 2020, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Born in Easthampton, Barbara was the daughter of Adam and Katherine (Gustavis) Navickas. She attended local schools, graduating from Easthampton High School in 1948 and Northampton Commercial College one year later. She married her husband, the late Louis Emile Tessier, in 1952.
Before leaving Easthampton in 2015 to move in with her daughter Kaydee in Waltham, Barbara was an indelible part of the town. For more than thirty years she helped clients at Boulanger’s Plumbing and Heating deal with their burst pipes and redesign their bathrooms and kitchens. She could be seen most evenings outside in the summer caring for her beautiful gardens at her Main Street home. Always eager to learn a new skill or further her creative endeavors, she was a mainstay at art classes from oil painting to theorem to paper quilling. Her work graced the walls of her own home as well as those of her family members and special friends. An avid seamstress and meticulous tailor and milliner, she created her family’s wardrobes with great skill and flair. She was never afraid to add color to any project she undertook.
She and her husband never met a dance floor they didn’t like, cutting a rug with the town’s square dancers or being the first couple to polka at a wedding of friends or family. Barbara was an enthusiastic volunteer on town committees, as a Girl Scout leader and a chaperone in the Junior Miss program. She raised her children to be like she was – giving back to the community that she cared so much about.
Fiercely proud of her Lithuanian heritage, she served in her early years in leadership positions in a variety of Lithuanian American organizations in Easthampton, Northampton and Westfield. In her last years, she was busy compiling a study of Easthampton’s Lithuanian immigrant history, documenting each family’s arrival and settlement in the town. Her favorite part of this project was reaching out to the family members who remained in Easthampton and making sure that she had captured their stories.
Allergic to the word retirement, Barbara worked in her later years with the Hampshire Council on Aging and the Springfield Urban League organizing programs for senior volunteers. She was passionate about helping the area’s senior citizens find meaningful ways to contribute their time and talent to children and families in need.
Predeceased by her husband and her daughter Paula, her memory will continue to be cherished by her daughters Missi (Jim Kulikowski) of McLean, Virginia, and Kaydee (Mark Powers) of Waltham, Massachusetts, her grandchildren Tess Kulikowski, Michael Murphy (Dominique) and Mary Kate Murphy Mammen (Pradeep), and three great grandchildren. Her warm smile and natural inquisitiveness made her an infinite number of friends throughout her 90 years – in western Massachusetts and then in Waltham. There will be a private remembrance until a later time when her many friends, colleagues, and family members can come together to celebrate her life. Those who wish to contribute to causes Barbara was passionate about can make donations to Massachusetts General Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, or the Easthampton Council on Aging.
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Sue Teece

Posted at 09:49am
Barbara was a part of our family for many years. Her work as an administrative assistant and watching over the office crew at Boulanger’s Plumbing & Heating will remain with all who visited the shop. Barbara loved my dad & mom; the porcelain Christmas Tree she made for my dad always lights up a table during the entire winter. Her theorem art work hung on many walls in our family home.
The last time I saw her she was 80; she looked like herself and her smile was still lighting up while we chatted.
I was sad seeing the obituary but thought, 90...she surely spent a lot of time here with so many people and her family.
I will hold this special person in my heart and memories.
Susan Teece
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Mary Beth Ogulewicz

Posted at 09:07am
What a loss with her passing! Oddly, she has been on my mind lately, remembering her as my chaperone for Junior Miss. So much fun together! For someone with no talent, she helped me at least feign talent! She was a treasure! And I think of her with deep fondness. Bright, incisive, and lots of moxie! She was a perfect match. She gave me a ceramic bluebird in a nest as good luck and I still have it in my kitchen on a shelf. I took it down last week to dust it and was thinking of her. My mother adored her, as well. She left an indelible mark on my heart. Please know I will hold her and all of you in my heart.
With love to you Barbara! xo Mary Beth Ogulewicz
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Eileen Boisvere

Posted at 08:18am
To Barbara's Family & Friends:

I am so sorry to hear of her passing. She was so good to me as a Foster Grandparent, we used to talk sometimes after she moved to her daughter's home. She was so pleasant and kind and very encouraging of my situation at home. We as her helpers in the Belchertown Kindergarden School were blessed to have known her. We know you took good care of her, especially as she was having those bad falls. She told me about them when we talked. Please let me know if there will be something for her in our area as us girls would like to get together and be there. We were blessed to have known her and having her working for us as helpers with the children. Thanks for having shared your Mom with us, We all loved her dearly. She was a good friend. and will be missed.

Eileen Boisvere, 281 Chauncey Walker St., Lot # 249, Belchertown, Ma 01007
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