Obituary: Barbara Schaefer
Barbara Ann Sullivan Schaefer, aka Grandma Toots, 78 of Greenwich, CT, accepted her promotion from registered nurse, mother, and grandmother to celestial angel on Saturday, July 18, while in the intensive care unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering. In case you have trouble spotting Barbara in the sky, she will be proudly displaying her “Hugs are Free” sign. You won’t miss her.
Barbara was born on May 13, 1942 to Theodore “Sully” and Anna “So-So” Sullivan, and raised in New Rochelle, NY. Growing up, she loved spending time with her cousin Robert Stemper. They remained best of friends throughout their lives. Barbara’s childhood nickname was “Toots”, a name her grandchildren expanded into Grandma Toots.
Barbara was extremely bright, intellectually curious, and the first person in her family to earn a college degree. Her parents couldn’t have been prouder when she graduated from Seton Hill College with a Bachelor of Arts degree on June 2, 1963. Barbara would later go on to earn two more degrees in pursuit of her passion for nursing. In 1980, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Adelphi University and then in 1984, a Master of Arts degree in Nursing Administration from New York University.
Barbara married Daniel J. Schaefer II and built a family of five boisterous, loving children and Tara, the family dog, on Long Island, NY. Later, she moved to Greenwich to resume her nursing career at Greenwich Hospital and be closer to her family. After retiring, she enjoyed volunteering at Nathanial Witherell nursing home in Greenwich.
Barbara loved mornings at Tod’s Point, helping others in need, spending time with her supportive friends, and working on NYT crossword puzzles. Most of all she loved spending time with her children and grandchildren. She will be a dearly missed at family gatherings and celebrations, especially when it is time to bake the Christmas pies.
A fierce and stoic fighter until the end, Barbara is now resting in peace and giving away hugs for free. The family wishes to express gratitude and love to her dear friend Kathy Link.
Barbara is survived by her five children and their spouses, Andrea Schaefer, Pamela Schaefer, Mark and Amy Schaefer, David and Virginia Schaefer, and Shawn and Karen Schaefer; her 12 grandchildren, Olivia (23), Henry (20), Maya (18 + 2 mins), Aidan (18), Liam (17), Savannah (17), Morgan (16), Lukas (16), Mason (16), Philip (15), Griffin (13), and Tristan (13). She was preceded in death by her son, Daniel Schaefer.
Visitation at Leo P. Gallagher & Sons Funeral Home, Greenwich, CT is Monday, July 27, 2 to 4 p.m. Barbara’s burial will be attended by her family at Willowbrook Cemetery, Westport, CT.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital or Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.