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Barbara Darlington Garrett

March 14, 1927 December 28, 2018
Barbara Darlington Garrett
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Obituary for Barbara Darlington Garrett

Barbara Darlington Garrett, Quaker, animal lover and selfless mother of four, is dead at 91

Barbara Darlington Garrett, a passionate advocate for and lover of animals and a dedicated, selfless mother of four, died peacefully on Friday, December 28, 2018 in her Ringoes, New Jersey home, where she had lived for more than six decades. She was 91. A soft-spoken, reserved exemplar of her lifelong Quaker faith, Barbara lived a life of unostentatious service, having served for several terms as a Trustee of the Buckingham Friends School in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, which all of her children attended. She served for a number of those years as Clerk, a characteristically understated title for the Head of the Board of a Quaker School. She also served for several years as head of the school’s Parents Association. A firm believer in both the quality of the education provided by Quaker schools and in the emphasis on service that forms an integral part of a Quaker education, Barbara spent nearly two decades driving her children from their home in Ringoes to Buckingham Friends and then returning to collect them each afternoon, logging nearly three hours of daily driving to and fro.

Born on March 14, 1927 in Buffalo, NY, to the late Ruth Metzger Darlington and Jesse Darlington, Barbara was the first child of the eighth generation of a family who had lived on and farmed land deeded to them by William Penn in 1681. Her brothers, Jared Darlington and Jesse Darlington predeceased her. Barbara graduated from Friends Central School in 1944, and from Elmira College in 1949 with a degree in Art History. One of six women named Barbara in her Elmira class, she became quickly known to her friends as Darl, a diminutive of her maiden name.

Soon after graduating from college, Barbara began working at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine for one of its hospitals, where she met Philip C. Garrett II, then a veterinary student, whom she married in 1952. Barbara dedicated the next span of her life to the formative years of her four children. She planned their births to be roughly four years apart, so that each might benefit from her primary focus at home until they were nearly of school age. Barbara returned to full-time employment at the age of 50 and spent more than 30 years as a veterinary technician and office manager at the Hopewell Veterinary Group in Hopewell, NJ.

A lover of all animals, large and small, Barbara was always in the company of her beloved “chums”, as she often called the many cats and dogs with whom she shared her home and was famous for never being able to turn away a feline or canine newcomer. She had a fondness for pugs, both fawn and black, and whimsically took to naming many of her cats after popular newscasters of the day. Barbara was equally fond of the numerous farm animals who lived at the family’s estate. She is survived by two of her favorites, Ming and Phoebe.

She leaves four children, Philip W. Garrett-Engele (Carrie M.) of Needham, Mass.; Ashley Garrett (Alan K. Jones) of New York, N.Y.; Alison G. Muse (John J.) of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Andrew J.D. Garrett (Bonnie K.) of Flemington, N.J.; nine grandchildren; and Chrissy Brown, who was her caretaker and near constant companion for the last ten years of her life.

Funeral services and interment in Buckingham Friends Cemetery will be private under the direction of the Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home, 147 Main Street, Flemington, NJ.
Memorial contributions in honor of Barbara may be made to Buckingham Friends School, 5684 York Road, P.O. Box 159, Lahaska, PA 18931.


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