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Barbara A. Gjeltema
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Obituary for Barbara A. Gjeltema

Barbara A. (Carpenter) Gjeltema of East Douglas passed away on Monday, April 2, at St. Camillus Health Center, surrounded by her five devoted daughters. Barbara, daughter of Wibbie (Kortekamp) and Walter L. Carpenter, was born in June 1935. She was predeceased by her dearly missed husband Harold who passed last year and her beloved son David who died in 2015. Barbara will be greatly missed by her five daughters and their spouses, Brenda and Brian Ridgeway of Eastham, Debra Ferguson of Sutton, Cheryl and Gary Chase of Holden, Susan and David Colton of Douglas, and Nancy and James O’Rourke of Sutton. Barbara is also survived by her four siblings, Walter Carpenter, Carol Swallow, and Sally Ballou, all of Douglas, and Nancy Dyer, of Kingsport, TN. She was very proud of her eighteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She also leaves behind nieces, nephews, and other close family and friends too numerous to name.

Barbara grew up in Douglas, the eldest of five children. She attended the Douglas schools, graduating in 1953. She then attended Salter Secretarial School in Worcester. Barbara met Harold while roller skating, and they fell in love and married in the spring of 1955. Harold had completed his tour with the Navy and was quickly hired by IBM. Together, they began their journey to New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire with IBM and their growing family. They returned to Douglas in 1967, building a large home near Barbara’s mother and siblings. The family thrived in Douglas at the family home, adding prolific vegetable and flower gardens, a barn, and a few farm animals. Later, Harold and Barbara added a pool where they were able to entertain their children and grandchildren during the warm weather.

In the late 1970’s and with her growing family in school during the day, Barbara returned to work as a legal secretary for Attorneys Oppewall and Lane in Whitinsville. She then worked part time for Attorney Martin Zajac in Uxbridge until she fully retired just a few years ago. She served as a trustee for Simon Fairfield Library and President and Treasurer of the Evergreen Cemetery Commission in Douglas. A member of Fairlawn Christian Reformed Church where she and Harold worshipped regularly since moving to Douglas, she served as a Calvinette leader and a Sunday School teacher when her children were young. She was also a proud member of the Captain Job Knapp Chapter of DAR in later years.

In her leisure time, Barbara was an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and an accomplished seamstress. She spent many hours knitting and sewing beautiful clothing for her daughters and grandchildren, and even herself occasionally. She belonged to Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild and Blackstone Valley Heritage Quilters and produced many fine quilts and seasonal wall hangings that will decorate the homes of her children and grandchildren for the future. Truly creative with a good eye for detail, she passed many of these talents on to her children and grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be Wed. April 4, 2018 from 5 – 7 PM in the BUMA FUNERAL HOME, 101 N. Main St., Rte. 122, Uxbridge.

Funeral services will be Thurs. April 5, 2018 at 11 AM in Fairlawn Christian Reformed Church, 305 Goldthwaite, Rd., Whitinsville. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery, Douglas.

Memorial donations may be made to the Douglas Fire Dept., c/o Ambulance Fund, P.O. Box 222, Douglas, MA 01516.

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Previous Events





5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Buma Funeral Home

101 North Main Street
Uxbridge, MA 01569





11:00 AM
Fairlawn Christian Reformed Church

305 Goldthwaite Road
Whitinsville, MA 01588

Cemetery Details


Evergreen Cemetery

West Street
Douglas, MA 01516

Memorial Contribution

Douglas Fire Dept.

c/o Ambulance Fund P.O. Box 222 Douglas, MA 01516

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