Barbara A. (Gaskalka) MacEwan, 81, of Silver Crest Lane passed away Friday 12/27/19 at the Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.
The daughter of Thomas and Vera (Ziemba) Gaskalka, Barbara was born in Adams, MA on April 22, 1938 and spent her early years in Windsor, MA. She graduated from Adams High School and went on to earn her degree in Education from North Adams State Teachers College in 1959. Later, her love of learning and interest in history led to a Masters Degree in Heritage Studies from Plymouth State College, NH in 1994.
Her early teaching experiences included a year working overseas for the Department of Defense at a U.S. military school in Aschaffensburg, Germany and her adventures exploring Europe led to a lifelong love of travel.
She married George L MacEwan of Westfield, MA in 1963 and after starting a family and settling in Southwick, MA she began teaching at Powder Mill Middle School. In 2001 Barbara retired after 30 plus years as an educator, however, she loved being active and worked part-time for Pearson in Amherst for 20 years as a test scorer.
She volunteered her time and energy to many organizations and causes. While in Southwick she was a Charter member of the Southwick Historical Society, holding over the years the offices of Secretary, Treasurer, and President. She was also Chair of the Southwick Historical Commission for many years. Barbara championed the preservation of local historic landmarks including the Moore House and the Charles Gillett Cigar Factory, both now museums. She was proud of her Polish heritage and was a dynamic supporter of the annual Pulaski Parade and cherished the friendships she made as a member of the Polish Heritage Committee of Northampton, MA.
She is lovingly remembered by her daughters: Rebecca MacEwan of West Springfield, MA, Debra and husband Kent Karieva of Greenfield, MA; and her granddaughter Lucy. Additionally, she leaves her siblings: Teresa Allen of Leverett, MA and Ray Gaskalka of Cheshire, MA, along with several nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews. Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, George and son Nicholas.
There are no calling hours. A private graveside service will be held in the Spring at St. Stanislaus Kostka Cemetery, Adams MA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in memory of Barbara to the American Cancer Society, the Polish Discovery and Learning Center, Chicopee, MA, or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Kostanski Funeral Home. For condolences, please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome.com.
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