MARY JANE HANCE BARBER BURLINGTON - Mary Jane Hance Barber passed away on Friday, July 17, after a battle with ALS. She was born on April 1, 1930, in St. Albans, Vt. and was the youngest of five children of the late Isabelle Clara (Austin) and Clarence Joseph Hance. She attended St. Mary's Catholic School and after her graduation in 1948, she received an R.N. degree in 1951, from St. Elizabeth's School of Nursing in Boston. In June 1954, Mary Jane married her high school sweetheart, John Anthony Barber. After a brief honeymoon at Lake Willoughby in Vermont, Mary and John settled in Burlington and raised eight children. Mary worked more than 30 years as a registered nurse in the Burlington/St. Albans area, specializing in private duty. Mary was a lifelong active member of Christ The King Parish in Burlington. Mary was also active in both the CARC and Special Olympics. Summers would often find her at the Hance camp on St. Albans Bay. Mary Jane's compassion, energy and enthusiasm for life enriched everyone who had the good fortune to know her. After raising her family, Mary resumed skiing, began golfing and enjoyed white water rafting excursions. She also traveled extensively to visit relatives and friends. Known for her helpfulness, she would always be armed with a smile and one of her famous lemon pound cakes. Mary Jane is predeceased by her husband John Anthony Barber in 1985; her beloved son Peter Donald Barber in 1988; and her siblings, Patsy (Hance) McGrath, Janet (Hance) Giroux and James Hance. She is survived by her children, John Barber Jr. and his wife Lucirte of Jacksonville, Fla., Mary and Arthur Hamlin of Jonesville, Vt., David Barber, Robert Barber, James Barber and Eileen Belle of Burlington, and Paul Hance of San Jose, Calif.; her grandchildren, John, Christopher and Robert Hamlin, Alan, Amanda and Steven Barber; and a great-granddaughter Hannah Hamlin. Mary Jane is also survived by her sister Margaret Prior and her husband Paul of Saddle River, N.J.; sister-in-law Jean Hance of Vergennes; and brother-in-law Alan Barber and his wife Sally of St. Albans. Mary also leaves many nieces and nephews, close friends and good neighbors. A special thanks to all the Visiting Nurse Association staff, nurses, LNA's and volunteers who assisted Mary Jane and her family over the past year. We all have been blessed with the love and joy that she shared. Words cannot express her contribution to our lives. A wake will be held at Ready Funeral Home at 261 Shelburne Road in Burlington from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, with a Mass at 10 to 11 a.m. on Friday, July 24, in Christ The King Church on Locust Street in Burlington. Private burial to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in St. Albans. Friends are welcome to share their memories of Mary with the family from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday at the family home in Burlington. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the VNA, 1110 Prim Rd., Colchester, VT 05446.
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Published in The Burlington Free Press on July 19, 2009