Barbara P. Aalto

Barbara P. (Phillips) Aalto, professor emerita, Stonehill College, longtime Bridgewater and later Auburndale resident, passed away unexpectedly at home in Lasell Village, Feb. 11, 2012, after a brief illness, just short of her 88th birthday. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ensio Emil Aalto of Brooklyn, N.Y., and her sister, Ruth Hunt of Williamsburg, Va. She is survived by daughter, Laura of Medford, Ore.; son, Eric (and grandchildren, Macy, Emerson) of San Diego; daughter, Anne (and fiance Daren Harvey) of Woodstock, Conn.; sister, Constance Phillips of South Weymouth; as well as numerous family and friends across the country and world. Barbara will be remembered as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, professional colleague and community volunteer. Her life journey began in Easthampton and Quincy; traversing the U.S. with stops in Maine, Massachusetts, Virginia, Minnesota, California and Ohio; before returning to the Bay State. A dedicated learner and educator, Barbara achieved a bachelor's degree from Bates College, a master's degree from Boston University and a Ph.D. from University of Minnesota, where she met her life partner Ensio. While raising three beloved children and pursuing professional careers in psychology, they shared interests in dancing, the arts, international travel and Finnish culture | activities Barbara pursued with zest until only recently. Academia was Barbara's calling, culminating in designation as Professor Emerita after a 35 year career (six as dept chair) at Stonehill College in Easton. Upon retirement, she continued educational pursuits, love of dancing and the arts, and dedication to volunteerism as an original resident and 12-year member of Lasell Village, a living and learning community at Lasell College in Auburndale. Per Barbara's wishes, a celebratory musical program is being held in her honor. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Barbara's memory to the Professor Barbara Aalto Scholarship Fund for psychology students, c/o Stonehill College, Office of Development, 320 Washington St., Easton, MA 02357, or to the Lasell Village Benevolent Fund, c/o Paula Panchuck, 120 Seminary Ave., Auburndale, MA 02466. Family may be contacted directly at her former home 125B Seminary Ave., No. 326, Auburndale, MA 02466. To share a memory or offer condolences, please visit www.joycefuneralhome.com.


Published in The Enterprise on Mar. 4, 2012