Patricia W. Barrett, former Roland Park Country School middle school head who later became membership director at the Walters Art Museum, died in her sleep Friday at Charter Senior Living in Towson. The former longtime Ruxton resident was 94.
The former Patricia Waters, daughter of Murray G. Waters, an engineer, and his wife, Eleanor R. Waters, a Red Cross volunteer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved in 1939 with her family to a home on Park Avenue in downtown Baltimore.
After graduating from Roland Park Country School in 1945, she attended Goucher College for a year, before meeting her future husband, Allen M. Barrett, on a blind date. The couple married in 1948.
Once her four children were raised, Mrs. Barrett took a summer typing course with her three daughters, and later taught typing at the Garrison Forest School. During the 1970s, she served as middle school head at Roland Park Country School.
From the 1980s until the early 1990s, Mrs. Barrett was membership director for 16 years at the Walters Art Museum. During her tenure at the Walters, she led a tour for the museum’s Women’s Committee to Portugal when “she’d never been abroad,” family members said.
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Mrs. Barrett’s husband of 39 years, a former Evening Sun sports writer who later became a Commercial Credit executive, died at 65 in 1988 of cardiac arrest.
“During her nearly 34 years as a widow, blessed with beauty and confidence, Mom had exactly one date. She simply felt that she wasn’t going to top what she had,” according to a biographical profile submitted by her family. “We’re reminded of her words on her Roland Park Country School yearbook page: ‘I know my mind, and I have made my choice.’”
A lifelong strong proponent of education and an inveterate reader, Mrs. Barrett returned years later to Goucher where she took courses with “students who were contemporaries of her grandchildren, and in the process, developed some computer skills to assist with her assignments,” according to the profile.
In 2008, Mrs. Barrett moved from her longtime home on Darnall Road in Ruxton to the Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson.
In 2016, when Gilman School dedicated its new baseball field to her late husband, who was a 1940 graduate of the school and a trustee, she told family members it was “one of the best days of her life.”
Mrs. Barrett was a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Charles Street and Melrose Avenue, where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday.
She is survived by a son, Allen M. Barrett Jr. of Towson; three daughters, Barbara B. Neale of Ruxton and Virginia B. “Gin” Shanley and Amy B. Frew, both of Naples, Florida; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Meredith H. Barrett, died shortly after her birth in 1951.