Barbara Warren Straw

3 entries
  • "Sending love and condolences. I picture her reuniting with..."
    - Abby Warren
  • - Cindy Washbourne
  • "My mom, Phyllis, and Barbara were good friends and spent a..."
    - Diane Nyblom
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Service Information
Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home
199 Woodford Street
Portland, ME

WESTBROOK - Barbara Warren Straw, 98, passed away on Jan. 5, 2019. Barbara was born on August 21, 1920 to Percy McClellan and Jessie Merrill Warren in Portland, Maine.Summers were spent at the cottages at Sebago Lake. She was athletic and was an expert swimmer and diver. She also had fond memories of visits to the family summer home, Eden Pines, overlooking Thatcher's Point Lighthouse in Rockport, Mass. Winters were spent outdoors skating, tobogganing, and skiing. As a child, she would travel alone by train to visit her Aunt Jean in New York City. During the day, Barbara would hop on the subway and travel all over the city alone. It was on one of these trips that she met her future husband, Clifton Straw, who was studying mechanical engineering at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. Following her graduation from Deering High School, Barbara entered Westbrook Junior College. There she made lifelong friends and stayed active in the Westbrook College Alumnae Association. She then went to work for the president of Portland Buick Company, who recognized her skills as a manager and made her his assistant. Barbara and Clifton were married on Nov. 11, 1942, in Philadelphia, Pa., where Clifton was stationed at the flight school. They lived in Greensboro, N.C. and Nashville, Tenn. until Clifton received his orders. Barbara then returned to Portland, Maine, where her daughter, Pamela, and son, Stephen, were born. After her divorce in the 1970's, she was hired by a family friend, Dr. Raymond Lebel, to run his oral surgery office. Despite having no previous medical experience, she excelled at her job. She also managed the family rental properties on Sebago Lake. She kept meticulous records and was always "right to the penny."Barbara resumed skiing and loved Sugarloaf. She took up golf when given a set of golf clubs by Dr. Lebel. A trip to Myrtle Beach with friends was talked about often. She was frequently asked to fill in at bridge at the Portland Country Club, where she almost always came home with first prize. She was a member of the Woodfords Congregational Church, and a subscriber to the Portland Stage Company, the Portland Concert Association, and the Portland Symphony Orchestra. She was an avid newspaper reader and loved crosswords. She loved a good book, especially politics and biographies, and she always stayed informed of current events. Born in 1920, just as the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified and women won the right to vote, she took her duty seriously. She researched the issues and the candidates so that hers was always an informed vote. Barbara Warren Straw was predeceased by her sister Paula Springer, and is survived by her daughter Pamela Straw of Westbrook, her son Stephen Warren Straw, and daughter-in-law Karen Kinne, both of Buxton.Please visit to sign Barbara's online guest book.Donations in Barbara's honor may be made to the:Animal Refuge Leagueof Greater PortlandPO Box 336Portland, ME 04098

Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Jan. 13, 2019
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