Mrs. Barbara Fay Middleton Baker Holston, 89, died peacefully on Aug. 19, 2020, after a short illness. Barbara was born Feb. 16, 1931, at Salisbury Hospital, in Salisbury, Md. However, she was a true child of the Eastern Shore of Virginia all her life.
As a child, Barbara lived in both Parksley and Onancock. She always spoke of what a happy childhood she had, especially with so much family surrounding her. She made lifelong school friends and remained close with them throughout her life. Barbara moved to Wilmington, Del., as a teen and lived in the area until 1980, when she finally realized her lifelong dream of moving to Florida.
Barbara met and married Gene Baker in 1950 and they traveled for some time, training and racing horses. In the late 1950s, Barbara worked for the Library of Congress, and occasionally served lunch to then Secretary of State John Dulles. Later she became a manager and dress buyer for Strawbridge & Clothier in Wilmington. She left that job just prior to adopting her first child and became one of the best moms to ever grace the planet.
She was deeply involved in raising her two children and served in many capacities at her children’s school and her church. Each year, she and her two children spent two happy months at the Delaware shore making unforgettable memories at Dewey and Rehoboth beaches. Barbara was a lover of sun, sand, and ocean all her life.
Barbara and her second husband, Sam, moved to Florida in 1980. She moved her parents to Florida shortly after, where her sister, Jean, and brother, Ronny, also lived. The Eastern Shore Middleton family was now reunited.
Living in Florida let her make the most of her retirement years. She returned to Delaware every year, staying with her Aunt Kay, and eventually with her daughter every summer. She made many happy memories with her Delaware family, and was thrilled to be a part of her granddaughter’s life as she was growing up. She also traveled with her husband to his family in Wisconsin and made happy memories with her grandchildren and great grandchildren there.
Barbara loved music as well as singing and dancing. This love never left her. She was a huge fan of gospel music and big band.
Barbara was a survivor. Diagnosed with arthritis when she was nine, she lived with it all of her life. She also survived a burst gall bladder, Hurricane Andrew, four pelvis breaks, and three bouts of breast cancer. She was an unstoppable force of toughness, fielding all that life threw at her. She was one of the original strong women. She championed women’s rights and was a forward thinker. She was never afraid to stand up for people who experienced injustice, or to a waiter who did not bring her food hot.
When Barbara had to go into assisted living, she was blessed to continue with her aide, Magy, who took wonderful care of her and treated her as her own mother. Barbara’s life was more enjoyable with Magy in it. She lived at the Palace Gardens for three years and loved the staff and the other clients. She never met a stranger, and she thrived with the opportunities for fellowship and making new friends.
“There are not enough words to say what my Mom meant to me. I spoke to her every evening and when we could not see each other because of COVID-19, we spent hours reminiscing about the wonderful lives we had been given. My mother was an amazing woman and I will miss her cheerful spirit and loving heart all the days of my life,” said her daughter.
Barbara is survived by her daughter, Barbara Jean Scira (Mark); her honorary daughter, Magy Roberts; her granddaughter, Avalon; her great-niece, Ashley Schultz (David); great-nephew, Darryl Grubbs (Samantha); and great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews. She is also survived by her stepson, Byron (JoAnn), and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Barbara loved her four husky grandchildren as well.
She was predeceased by her husband, Samuel Holston; mother and father, Agnes and Braden Middleton; her brother, Ronald Middleton (Fran); her sister, Jean Olinger (Spence); her son, Tommy Baker; granddaughter, Becky; and her beloved cousin, Pat Culliton (Bill).