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Remembering Barbara Cleary

July 20, 1929–January 27, 2015

Jim Cleary

The following obituary originally appeared in the Palm Beach Daily News

Barbara M. Cleary of Palm Beach died Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, at her home after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. She was 85.

Born on July 20, 1929, in Malden, Mass., she was a daughter of John T. and M. Edna (Flynn) Coliton.

She graduated from Girls Catholic High School in Malden and earned a junior degree in business from the Wyndam School.

Her career began at Jordan Marsh stores, where she quickly climbed to lead buyer in the bridal and designer departments.

In 1961, she married James F. Cleary at St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine in Boston. He was president of Blyth, Eastman Dillon & Co. in New York, and later a managing director of Paine Webber and advisory director of UBS in Boston.

They lived in Boston, Cape Cod and Palm Beach.

Mrs. Cleary was a member of St. Edward Catholic Church in Palm Beach and Our Lady of the Assumption in Osterville, Mass. She also was a Dame in the Order of Malta and organized many pilgrimages to Lourdes in France. She also was involved in the Children’s Museum in Boston. She and her late husband founded and chaired the Pops on the Heights at Boston College for more than 19 years.

She is survived by two daughters, Kara-Lyn C. Cleary of Boston, Palm Beach and Cape Cod, and Kristin C. Welo and husband Tobias of Weston; a son, James F. Cleary Jr. of Boise, Idaho; four grandchildren, Barbara Ann Cleary, Abigail Ann Cleary, Grayson C. Welo and Tobias J. Welo; a brother, John T. Coliton Jr. and wife Jacquelyn of Livonia, Mich.; and a sister, Claire C. Burke, and husband Charles of Fort Meyers and Marion, Mass.; and many nieces and nephews.

After 51 years of marriage, Mr. Cleary died on Feb. 26, 2012. Mrs. Cleary’s brother, Ralph Coliton, also predeceased her.

A funeral Mass for Mrs. Cleary will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at St. Edward Catholic Church, 144 N. County Road. A burial ceremony will be held in Newton Cemetery, Newton, Mass., at a time to be announced.

Memorial donations may be made to Massachusetts General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, Building 114, Charlestown Navy Yard, 114 16th St., Room 2003, Charlestown, Mass. 02129.

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