Barbara M. Santamaria, a retired Veterans Administration nurse practitioner and a past president of the Maryland Nurses Association, died of congestive heart failure Wednesday at Franklin Square Medical Center. The Oak Crest Village Retirement Community resident was 83.
Born Barbara Matheny in Parkersburg, W.Va., she grew up in Cumberland and was a 1949 graduate of Fort Hill High School. She moved to Baltimore and entered nurses training at Union Memorial Hospital. She earned her diploma in 1951.
She lived in Baltimore and nursed until moving to Barcelona, Spain, while her husband, Angelo Santamaria, was a chemical division executive for Glidden Paint. They also lived for periods in Cleveland and in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"She was a caring and giving person, but she was also a determined individual," said her brother, Richard Matheny of Branford, Conn. "In her mid-40s, she returned to school. She had many friends and she always would strive to better herself."
After nursing at Union Memorial and in San Juan, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at the Johns Hopkins University. She also had a master's degree from the Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She became an early nurse practitioner. She worked at the Baltimore County Health Department and then joined the Veterans Administration.
Mrs. Santamaria worked in home hospice care until her retirement about 13 years ago. She also served on National Institutes of Health asthma advisory committees.
She was a former president of the Maryland Nurses Association.
She was a reader and enjoyed Ravens games.
Services are private.
In addition to her brother, survivors include two sons, Angel Santamaria of Westminster and Mark Santamaria of Laurel; a daughter, Annette Santamaria of Houston; a sister, Ann Strieby of La Vale near Cumberland; and four grandchildren. Her marriage ended in divorce in 1980.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun