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In Memoriam: Barbara Wells

October 22, 2018

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury notes the death of retiree and alumna Barbara Wells, who died on October 14 at Shard Villa in Salisbury, Vt., her home of recent months.

Barbara received her Bachelor’s Degree from Middlebury in 1941. Soon after graduating Barbara returned to her beloved Middlebury College, where she served in numerous administrate appointments for over three decades. In 1946, Barbara was hired as the Alumni Secretary and Placement Director for Women, and in 1952 she was promoted to Director of Admissions for Women, in which capacity she served until the separate admissions offices for men and women were combined in 1964. That year Barbara became the Executive Secretary for the Ford Challenge Program in the Development Office, and in July of 1968 Barbara was appointed to the position of Secretary of the College. In July of 1976, Barbara became a College Loan Officer and she remained in this role until her retirement in 1983 after 37 years of service.

Barbara was born September 16, 1921 in Middlebury to Nellie Mae Barnett Wells and Warden Henry Wells. She graduated from Middlebury High School in 1937, having been home schooled until she entered the high school.  After completing her education at Middlebury College, she took a position as Instructor in Biology at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY from 1943 to 1946.

Throughout her life, Barbara had a deep interest in history of all kinds and volunteered many hours at the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History. At her death, she was perhaps the oldest member of the Congregational Church of Middlebury, where she served as the Church Historian for many years. She also had a great love of nature, often remarking at the sight of a fawn in her yard, a magnificent fall maple, or a glowing sunset.  

Predeceased by her parents, she is survived by cousins, Susan Goulet and her husband, Raymond of Moorestown, New Jersey and Kathy McCormick and her husband, James, of Keeseville, New York. 

There will be a service in celebration of her life at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 27 at the Congregational Church of Middlebury. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory and honor may be made to The Congregational Church, 30 North Pleasant Street, Middlebury, VT  05753.