unknown - May 30, 2013
Barbara Briggs Niederhofer, a long-time resident of Homer, passed away on May 30, 2013, at Newfield House in Plymouth, MA. She was predeceased by her husband, LaVerne C. Niederhofer and four step-children. She is survived by her children and step-children: Frank H. Reynolds, Jr. of Montpelier, VT; Nancy Reynolds Hayes and her husband, John, of New Canaan, Ct; Carol Kuryla of Wake Forest, North Carolina; Thomas Niederhofer and his wife, Sandy of Homer; William Niederhofer of Cortland; and Heidi Heath and her husband Alan, of Ketchum, Idaho. In addition, she is survived by three grandchildren, Megan Reynolds, Bennet Hayes and Tyler Hayes along with 19 step-grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. Barbara is also survived by her beloved niece and nephew, Sally B. Maitland of Charleston, South Carolina and John (Jack) Briggs of Homer.
The daughter of Florence and John Briggs of Homer, Barbara lived in the village much of her life, residing in the historic Andrew Dickson White home on Main Street. A graduate of Homer schools, Barbara attended Sweet Briar College and graduated from Bradford Jr. College. She worked at Cornell University and later was manager of the catalogue department at Sears, Roebuck in Cortland. Barbara devoted herself to being an extraordinary wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker. She was an active member of the community, volunteering in many civic capacities and was a life-long member of the Homer Congregational Church.
In their retirement years, Barbara and Vern Niederhofer relocated from Homer to Skaneateles, and then to Wilmington, NC. They travelled extensively throughout the world, taking many of these trips while in their 70s and 80s. Barbara would become so enthralled with a place she was visiting as to exclaim, “Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful to live here!” and this became known as her signature comment.
After her husband died, Barbara moved to Duxbury, MA to be nearer her children. In 2012 she relocated to Newfield House in Plymouth, MA where she resided at the time of her death and where she received remarkable and loving care. Barbara remained active and involved throughout her life, displaying virtually limitless energy. Well into her eighties, she participated in aerobics classes and relaxed by taking four-mile walks at a brisk place. She displayed great openness and curiosity about the world, and took an abiding interest in other people, acquiring many friends along the way.
Throughout her long life and wherever she went, Barbara devoted herself to others, continuing to form new friendships as well as maintaining close contact with her large extended family and many long-term friends. The hardships of failing health and diminished capacity which she encountered in the last years of her life seemed to call forth her best essence. To family and caregivers alike, Barbara presented a remarkable example of kindness, grace, courage, and dignity throughout her life.
Memorial service: 10 a.m. Saturday, June 29, in the Homer Congregational Church with interment following in Glenwood Cemetery. Arrangements are being handled by the Wright Beard Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Homer Congregational Church, 28 South Main St., PO Box 221, Homer, NY 13077. To offer online condolences visit wright-beard.com.