Barbara (Carpenter) Rowe

FLORENCE - Barbara Carpenter Rowe, 83, passed away at home in Florence on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, from metastasized breast cancer.

Barbara, the daughter of Kathrine Kreycik and Ray Carpenter, was born in Washington, D.C., grew up in College Park, Md. when it was a small town, and enjoyed the summers in Nebraska at her grandparents' ranch.

Barbara attended the University of Maryland where her father was a professor of engineering, and at the age of 20 graduated as the senior with the highest grade point average in her class of 1950. Two years later, she earned her master's of arts degree at the University of Iowa in English literature and subsequently taught English at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

She then traveled in Europe with friends and returned to the United States where she married her high school boyfriend, Peter Rowe, in 1956. After two years in New Haven, where Barbara worked in a city planning firm, she and her husband came to Northampton in 1958. She first taught English grammar and literature at the University of Massachusetts and later at Holyoke Community College. Barbara was a wordsmith, she excelled as a grammarian and as a master of organization, but her favorite work experience was teaching creative writing in the after-school programs at John F. Kennedy and Bridge Street schools. Barbara also worked in law offices in Northampton, in the art department at Smith College and did freelance editing.

She served as a counselor to the inmates at the Northampton jail in a decision-making program. Barbara was an informed and passionate fan of the Patriots and the Red Sox. She and her husband sailed to Europe many times, where she could use her knowledge of art history acquired from courses at Smith College.

Blessed with an extraordinary memory, Barbara shared her deep knowledge of the arts; she enjoyed film, theater, opera and music and most of all she was an avid reader.

Barbara is survived by her husband Peter; her brother David Carpenter and his wife Sarah of Daytona Shores, Fla., and her nieces, Laura Carpenter, at Vanderbilt University.

To honor Barbara's life, Peter will receive friends at their home at 69 Fox Farms Road, Florence, from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.

It was Barbara's wish that memorial gifts go to the new Cancer Care Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 40 Locust St., Northampton, MA 01060.

The Czelusniak Funeral Home of Northampton has been entrusted with arrangements.

To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to

Funeral Home

Czelusniak Funeral Home
173 North Street Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 584-3585

Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Feb. 14, 2013