1925 – 2015

LEWISTON — Barbara Varney Randall, 89, a well-known resident of Auburn, died Sunday evening, Nov. 22, at d’Youville Pavilion.

She was born in Dallas, Texas, on Dec. 4, 1925, the daughter of Ross H. and Charlotte (Smith) Varney. Educated in local schools, she graduated from Lewiston High School in 1942 and from Bates College in 1946 with a degree in sociology. Several years later, she also attained her master’s degree in education from the University of Maine in 1960. On Nov. 23, 1961, she married James M. Randall who predeceased her on March 12, 1984.

Upon graduating from Bates, she first worked at the Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park and as a physical education Instructor at the State School for Girls in Hallowell before returning to Bates in 1947 to work in the college’s news bureau.

In 1952, Barbara moved to Philadelphia and went to work for the advertising agency N.C. Ayer, later returning to Maine and earning her master’s degree in education in 1960.

That same year, she returned to Bates College to serve as Dean of Women for nine years. Her knowledge and perspective on the institution as well as intellectual and social development helped guide the college and its students during a time of tremendous social change sweeping college campuses nationwide. In the process, she helped support the transition from college President Charles Franklin Phillips to President Thomas Hedley Reynolds.


She later taught for a short time at Lisbon High School before accepting a teaching position in the English Department at Edward Little High School, where she taught until her retirement. While at Edward Little, she served as coach of the Girls’ Ski Team for several years.

She was a member of the former Lewiston United Baptist Church, and was a published poet, artist, world traveler, avid reader and dedicated volunteer.

As a well-known and dedicated educator, she was a respected adviser and mentor to many in education. Her Bates College professional memberships included alumni trustee; alumni class officer, 24 years; Bates Steering Committee, 13 years; Bates College key member, 31 years; Cheney Society, 10 years; and alumna career adviser through Bates Career Development Center, 18 years.

Other professional memberships included past president of the Association of Retired Educators; former trustee, Westbrook College; board of directors, Frye School; founder, Advisory Board member and teacher, University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College; and past president, Androscoggin Retired Teachers Association.

During her many years as a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, and as a member of Mu, the local Chapter, since 1961, she served as Alpha Psi State president 1969-1971; Mu Chapter president, 1966-1968; Read-To-Me chairperson; and World Fellowship chairperson. She was Alpha Psi State’s Achievement Award recipient in 2012.

Barbara’s community and civic memberships included Androscoggin County Head Start board of directors, former trustee and member of Readers Theater for Auburn Public Library, Lewiston-Auburn YWCA board of directors, SeniorsPlus board of directors, United Way, board of directors, Maine Acting Co. and Community Little Theatre board of directors, and founding member of Woman’s Literary Union.

She was proud of her affiliation with Bates College and to her many colleagues and friends throughout her long career. She will also be remembered as a faithful friend and gracious hostess.

She leaves behind many close friends and longtime colleagues in the community as well as at Bates College.

You are invited to share your thoughts, condolences and fond memories by visiting her online guestbook at www.thefortingroupauburn.com.

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