Barbara Blachly Carpenter CABOT — Barbara Blachly Carpenter, 90, of Cabot, let go of life and her determination to outwit mortality on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in the evening at the McClure Miller Respite House in Colchester. Barbara was born March 24, 1929, in Montclair, New Jersey, to Natalie Norton Blachly and Louis Bradley Blachly. She graduated from Westtown School in 1947, and Oberlin College with a degree in Art History in 1952. When Barbara was 15, she attended a work camp helping on a local farm, through Goddard College in Plainfield. She rode the train to Plainfield, through Lanesboro in Marshfield. Watching the scenery go by, she remembered that she thought she must have reached Heaven. At 18, she bought a run-down farmhouse and eight acres on Southwest Hill in Cabot. After college, she came to that farmhouse to live and remained there till Sept. 20, spending her remaining days with superb care at Respite House. She married Charles H. Carpenter, of Cabot, in 1958 and they were devoted to one another until his death in 1981. Barbara had a never-ending curiosity for new ideas, projects and knowledge. Even while bedridden, she still had things she wanted to get done and engaged her family and friends in her interests. She was a devotee to the internet, using it extensively to research the latest project or to watch a fascinating program. Barbara was committed to the Town of Cabot. In the early-1970s, she was a key player in saving Cabot School from the union movement. She was a decades-long member of the Cabot Historical Society, spearheading the movement to restore the West Hill Schoolhouse, interviewing dozens of elderly Cabot residents whose interviews became the basis for the book: "Cabot, Vermont: A Collection of Memories From the Century Past;" and she helped to restore the present historical building. She was a 4-H leader, teaching ornithology to a group of local kids who remain avid birders to this day. Barbara volunteered countless hours to renovate the Willey Hall at a time when tearing it down was a consideration. She was part of the project to install a veterans’ monument on the lawn of the Willey Building. Barbara was the zoning administrator for many years and spent countless cold evenings in the pre-renovated Willey Building helping to create a town plan and working with the planning commission. Barbara was a dedicated farmer and one of the first dairy farmers to join the organic dairying movement in the early-1990s. She was devoted to her children, driving to endless music lessons and rehearsals, bird conferences and on excursions. She was a gardener and sugarmaker, a basket maker and artist. She had oxen and horses, horses being her mode of transportation when she first moved to Cabot. She wrote extensively, writing a detailed history of her farm and the neighboring farms, and of a local Civil War soldier. Her house was always a welcoming place for visitors and they rarely went away hungry. Barbara requested that part of her obituary be an expression of gratitude for the many people who cared for her in her years of declining ability. After a fall in 2016, Barbara needed help caring for herself and was able to remain in her home through the dedication of family, friends and professional services. She enjoyed all her visitors and was very grateful for all the attention she received. Her family joins her in deep gratitude for all the help and support to keep Barbara in her home for as long as possible. Her love for an old farmstead in Cabot led to an extended family who will miss her greatly. She leaves her brother, William Blachly (Ann O’Brien), of Calais; her daughters Mary (Caleb Pitkin) and Susan, both of Southwest Hill in Cabot; her granddaughters Lydia Pitkin (Brock Miller), of Cabot, and Hannah Pitkin (Nick Clark), of Marshfield, and grandson Sam Carpenter, of Cabot. She also leaves behind great-grandchildren Bella and Owen Miller, and Atlas Clark. Other members of her family are niece Ellen Blachly (Bruce Westcott), of Peacham; nephew Tom Blachly (Susannah Blachly), of Calais; grandnieces Sophie and Heidi Bielenberg, and grandnephew Adam Blachly; nieces Ruth Carpenter Glaude and Grace Carpenter Glaude, of Connecticut. She is also survived by her former sister-in-law, Alice Blachly, and former son-in-law, David Carpenter. Barbara was an independent, determined, some might say stubborn, disciple of life. In keeping with her strong personality, Barbara’s body was placed in a coffin made with pine from her farm. She made a final journey to her beloved farm in the back of a pickup truck where family and friends held a private wake with song, poetry, tears and laughter. She rested in the peace and quiet of her beloved home one last time. She was cremated and her remains will be spread on the farm at the convenience of the family. At her request, a public memorial celebration will be held on June 7, 2020, at the farm in Cabot – on the anniversary of the day that she celebrated the life of Charles. A notice with more details will be posted closer to the memorial. Memorial contributions may be made to the McClure Miller Respite House, 3113 Roosevelt Highway, Colchester, VT 05446; or the Cabot Historical Society, Box 275, Cabot, VT 05647. "Lux aeterna ... et lux perpetua luceat eis."

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