Eleanor Colwell Barrie


Eleanor Colwell Barrie, 94, died peacefully at her home in Vineyard Haven on Dec. 16, 2018.

She was born on June 30, 1924, to John Thomas Colwell and Elizabeth Lucy Angell. She spent her youth in Rhode Island, where her family owned houses in the Edgewood section of Providence, and Scituate, where she took great pleasure riding her horse Ginger and swimming at Cummers Pond. She graduated from Cranston High School in 1943, and earned a secretarial degree from the Katharine Gibbs School.

Eleanor met her husband Carl in high school, and they were married in 1947 at the Central Congregational Church in Providence, R.I. They enjoyed a devoted union of 67 years, beginning their life together in Schenectady, N.Y., and Cohasset. Eleanor was a founder of the Cohasset Garden Club, and a member of the First Parish Unitarian Church. She and Carl were very engaged in the community, where they cultivated lifelong friendships. They moved to Pottersville, N.J., before returning to Massachusetts, where they settled into a 1790 Cape Cod in Marshfield Hills. Their final residence was a vacation house built on the third hole of Mink Meadows Golf Course, on Martha’s Vineyard, where they retired in 2004.

Eleanor was a valued secretary in a number of administrative positions, including secretary to the director of admissions at Somerset College in Somerset, N.J. She was passionate about golf, and was a member of Cohasset Golf Club for many years, where she scored a hole in one. Eleanor also played competitive golf in the South Shore Women’s League, winning many tournaments, and was Club Champion at Raritan Country Club in Somerset, N.J. She and Carl traveled to Scotland numerous times to play its classic courses, but she had a special affection for Mink Meadows Golf Club, where she was a member.

Early in her life, she found inspiration in the natural world through the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and throughout her life in solitary walks. She was an accomplished artist, and painted landscapes of the White Mountains, Martha’s Vineyard, and Scotland, working in pastels, oils, and watercolors. Her paintings were a means of sharing her love of nature and beauty, values that live on in her sons and grandchildren. Eleanor was a dedicated gardener, and took great joy tending her perennial borders. She also enjoyed skiing, hiking, and camping in the White Mountains, and traveling to golf destinations in Europe. In her later years, she was a regular bridge player at the Tisbury Senior Center.

She was predeceased by her husband, Carl Barrie. She is survived by her son Jeffrey and his wife Kathryn of Warren, N.H., grandson Andrew, son Tom and his wife Lisa of Raleigh, N.C., and grandsons Ian and Simon, and her sister Elizabeth Carlson. There will be a memorial service celebrating her life in the spring.