Barbara P. (Phillips) Aalto, Professor Emerita, Stonehill College. Longtime Bridgewater and later Auburndale resident, Barbara Aalto, passed away unexpectedly at home in Lasell Village on February 11, 2012 after a brief illness, just short of her 88th birthday. Barbara is remembered as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, professional colleague and community volunteer. She is preceded in death by her husband Ensio Emil Aalto of Brooklyn, NY and her sister Ruth Hunt of Williamsburg, VA. She is survived by daughter Laura of Medford, OR; son Eric (& grandchildren Macy, Emerson) of San Diego, CA; daughter Anne (& fianc Daren Harvey) of Woodstock, CT; sister Constance Phillips of S. Weymouth, MA; as well as numerous family and friends across the country and world. 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 BA from Bates College, a MA from Boston University and a PhD from the 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 (6 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 & 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, #326, Auburndale, MA 02466. To share a memory or offer condolences please visit www.joycefuneralhome.com
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Published in The Bridgewater Independent from Mar. 3 to Mar. 10, 2012