VENICE — Barbara Howes Neil, 72, of North Port, Fla., passed away Sunday, Dec. 23, at the Venice Regional Medical Center, after a courageous battle with cancer for many years.
She was born July 5, 1940, in Portland, a daughter of Lyde and Hilda (Mitchell) Howes. Barbara attended Strong schools and continued her education at the University of Maine at Farmington, where she graduated with high honors. She received a Master’s degree in education from the University of Maine at Orono. She married Herbert C. Neil, Sept. 9, 1956.
Barbara was a respected teacher, working first at Philips Elementary and finishing her career at Strong Elementary School. She was active in both the Strong United Methodist Church and the North Port Community United Church of Christ.
Barbara wintered in Florida, but always looked forward to getting back to her summer home at Porter Lake in Strong, where she loved the serenity of the lake. A skilled pianist, she loved music and was always getting others to join her in song, whether it was Christmas parties, caroling or other family gatherings. Barbara also enjoyed swimming, kayaking, baking, playing cards and especially spending time with her grandchildren. She made a difference in many people’s lives and was very giving of her time, whether with her music, her teaching or her excellent cooking.
She is survived by her husband, Herbert of North Port, Fla.; sister, Ardis Copeland and her husband, Ralph, of North Port; four children, Randall Neil and significant other, Kenna Pulley, of Chesterfield, Va., Sandra Rogers and her husband, John, of Strong, Nancy Seelow and her husband, Tim, of Jay and Suzanne Kidd and husband, David, of West Freeman; 11 grandchildren, Stephanie, Ted, Christopher, Joshua, Brittany, David, Emily, Patrick, Erin, Jessica and Zachary; five great-grandchildren, Scotty, Alexandra, Abigail, Keagan and Connor; two half-brothers and one half-sister of their common birth mother, Diana Anastasio; Frank Anastasio of Rumford; Janet Haas of Annandale, Va.; and Eugene Anastasio of Keene, N.H.
Those wishing may send condolences for the family at www.farleyfuneralhome.com.