Barbara's Story

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Barbara Braun Wermuth, loving wife, mother, grandmother and aunt, passed away peacefully at home with family on Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Swampscott, Mass., after a long illness. A native New Englander, she was born in New Haven, Conn., in 1927, the daughter of John and Ethel (Sommer) Braun. She grew up in New Haven and later Portsmouth, N.H., where her father was a machinist at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. She was a National Honor Society student in high school, after which she went to UNH for a year and then attended nursing school at the Peter Bent Brigham School of Nursing in Boston, Mass., where she graduated with her nursing degree in 1949.
In 1950 she met her future husband, Paul Wermuth, in Boston, and they were married on August 26, 1951, in Rye, N.H. They then moved to Potsdam, N.Y., where Paul taught at Clarkson University, then to State College, Pa., where Barbara worked in the Penn State infirmary patching up, among others, various members of the Penn State football team after games, while supporting Paul's Ph.D pursuit.
They then moved to Richmond, Va., where Paul taught at William & Mary, and where Barbara had the first of four boys. Another son quickly followed at which time the family decamped to the Teachers College of Connecticut in New Britain, Conn., (shortly thereafter to be Central Connecticut State College, and now a university). There the last two sons were born. In 1968 she made her final move, moving to Swampscott, Mass., when Paul became Chairman of the English Department at Northeastern University. They bought a large, lovely home near the ocean and raised their four boys (and the dog, Minnesota Fats).
In addition to being a Cub Scout Den Mother for a period, in the early 1970s, Barbara began volunteering at the Swampscott Public Library, which later turned into a part-time job she held for almost 40 years and culminated in her being the Director of the Library's Audio-Visual Department. She also became involved with the Friends of the Swampscott Public Library for many years and held several executive positions for the friends including being president. She also was a significant contributor to the fundraising campaign for the Library's new addition in the 1990s. She had many wonderful friends at the library and greatly enjoyed her time working there. During that time, sons graduated from high school, then college, were married, some moved away, grandchildren arrived, then came Paul's retirement and then Barbara's. At home, Barbara enjoyed playing the piano, and she had a green thumb which resulted in parts of the house becoming mini-nurseries for many years.
She was a warm and wonderful wife, mother and person and is greatly missed.
A visitation will be held at the Solimine Funeral Home, 67 Ocean Street (Route 1A), Lynn, MA 01902 on Monday, May 22, 2017, from 7 to 9 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, at the Swampscott Cemetery Chapel in Swampscott, Mass., at 10 a.m., with interment to follow. Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the Friends of the Swampscott Public Library, P.O. Box 28, Swampscott, MA 01907-0028. Directions and guestbook at www.solimine.com.
Published on May 9, 2017
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