Barbara Houston Reed, of Middletown, RI, passed away peacefully on March 11, 2023, at Newport Hospital.
Barbara was born, March 21, 1946, in Philadelphia, PA, the daughter of Annmarie (Fries) Houston and Dr. Paul C. Houston. She came to Newport with her family in 1952 and graduated from St. Catherine Academy in 1964. After graduating from Annhurst College (Woodstock, CT) in 1968, Barbara taught history and social studies classes for 32 years, first at Portsmouth High School and then for 20 years at Middletown High School. During her years teaching, she was proud to have launched the first community service program at Middletown High School, and she then expanded the program to her sociology classes there. Barbara raised her family in Portsmouth and served every imaginable role from swim meet coordinator to Scout troop leader. She could be found on the sidelines at tee-ball games, soccer games, YMCA swim meets, and high school tennis matches, and she enjoyed summer days at Third Beach with family and friends.
Before and after her retirement from teaching, Barbara was a tour guide with the Preservation Society of Newport, sharing her knowledge of the history of the houses with visitors from near and far. Always eager to learn and having many interests, Barbara was a member of the Circle of Scholars, Middletown Historical Society, Redwood Library, and Old Sturbridge Village. She was an avid reader, and she kept a busy social schedule with multiple book clubs and dinners out with friends. “Nana Barbara” (also known affectionately as “Bana”) treasured time with her grandchildren, hosting Thanksgiving dinner (her favorite) to bring them all together, taking them to the beach and Frosty Freez in the summer, playing board games, and always available for “Camp Nana” whenever needed.
Barbara is survived by her daughter, Kristine Woleck (Gregory), her son, David Reed (Jennifer), her four grandchildren, Grace and Jack Woleck and Ella and Leo Reed, her sister, Diane Houston, her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Reed, her nephew, Patrick Burns, and her dear friends, Janet McCarthy and Edna O’Connell. She was predeceased by her parents, her brother, Paul Houston, her sister, Mary Ellen Burns, and her former husband, Peter Reed.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary’s Church in Newport, RI, on Friday, March 17, 2023, at 9:00AM. Burial will follow in Newport Memorial Park, Middletown. In lieu of flowers, donations in Barbara’s name may be made to the Joslin Diabetes Clinic, 1 Joslin Place, Boston, MA, 02215, www.joslin.org/support-joslin