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Barbara B. Stiles

Barbara B. Stiles, 90, of South Otselic, NY, passed away on Thursday, May 27, 2010, at the Cortland Regional Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

Born on June 18, 1919 in North Pitcher, a daughter of the late Harry and Emma Neal Brown, Barbara graduated from South Otselic High School in 1938. After graduation, she studied music under the direction of her sister-in-law, Elaine Brown, in Philadelphia, PA and had the opportunity to sing with choirs at the Julliard School of Music in New York City. She then returned home to marry Earl W. Stiles on October 14, 1939, at the Methodist Church in South Otselic with Rev. G.G. Crawford officiating. Through the years, while raising their three children, Rebecca, Nelson and Wesley, Earl's profession took the family from South Otselic to Caledonia to Albany and back to South Otselic in 1970, when the couple retired. Earl died in 1988.

After raising her family, Barbara held various jobs where she made close friends and was often called "Aunt Barbara" or "Grandma Stiles" by so many who loved her. As a homemaker, she was well-known for her expertise in baking pies and making fried cakes. She enjoyed high school and SU basketball and was an avid Yankee fan. A major highlight in her life was a trip to Tampa to attend a Yankee Game in 2008.

A life-long member of the South Otselic Methodist Church, Barbara sang for many years in the choir, took an active role in many of the church fund raisers and was a member of United Methodist Women. She was also a member of the Otselic Valley Grange, the Order of the Eastern Star, as well as being a proud member of DAR.

Barbara is survived by her two sons and their wives, Nelson and Lee, of Norwich, and Wesley and Nancy of North Pitcher; her son-in-law, William R. Boothby of Pittsford; seven grandchildren, Melissa Stiles Jaquay, David Boothby, Alexander W. Stiles, Amanda Stiles Barry, Kristina Stiles, Dana Stiles Giampietro and Michael Stiles; eight (soon to be nine) great-grandchilren; nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Barbara was predeceased by her daughter, Rebecca Boothby who died in 1993; her brothers, Dana, Hugh and W. Dale Brown; and her sister, Marjorie B. O'Connor.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, May 30, 2010, at 1:00 p.m. at the South Otselic United Methodist Church with Rev. Carl Johnson, pastor, officiating, assisted by Jeanne Angell. Burial will be in North Pitcher Cemetery at the convenience of the family. The family will be present to receive friends at the K.L. Sharp Funeral Home, Cincinnatus, on Saturday, May 29, 2010, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the S. Otselic United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 47, S. Otselic, NY 13155.

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Being Mrs. Stiles' next door neighbor for most of my life was such a pleasure. She became more of a grandmother than neighbor, and would even sign correspondence to me as "Grandma Barbara." Whenever I was lonely, or forgot my house key after school, she would have a sandwich or a fried cake waiting on the kitchen table for me.

I have so many memories of Mrs. Stiles and will hold dear all the stories she told me. I so vividly remember her telling me of her childhood doctor and her perfect replication of his German accent.

I am so sad to say goodbye to "Grandma Barbara," but know that the love and kindness she gave to all still lives in her wonderful family. I am positive she is smiling down on all of us from heaven.

Deanna N. Fox Aug 7 2012 12:00 AM

My friend and I would visit Mss Stiles in 1991 to spend time in the presence of such a great person. Sometimes we raked her leaves. Or listened about what book she was reading next to her downstairs woodburning stove. She always served us ice cream and pie! My friend was allergic to milk...hence, when she wasn't looking we would swapt dishes (-: So I always got extra icecream.
She spoke highly of her family, looking like a pillar of light while saying there names.
She branded her love into my heart! I'll always remember that.

Harrison Shane Smith Aug 7 2012 12:00 AM

A year or so ago, I sat next to Barbara in the Town Park during one of our Arts in the Valley concerts. She looked at the wooded hillside above and beyond the park and said: "I know how old I am. That hill is filled with trees, but I remember when it was a field." My mouth sort of dropped open. I thought - she's as old as a forest?

She was a bright, elegant and classy lady who will be missed by so many. Our deepest sympathy and shared sorrow go to Wes, Nancy, the children and the Stiles family.

Mitch & Jan

Mitchell Gary/Jan Wentworth Aug 7 2012 12:00 AM

Wes & Nancy, it is evident God has richly blessed you. Loving regards, Bill

Bill & Cathy Tei Aug 7 2012 12:00 AM