Barbara Santa

Final Resting Place

Thursday, August 17, 2023
Lawn Cemetery
Lane Street
Huntington, Connecticut, United States


10:30 am
Thursday, August 17, 2023
St. Lawrence Church
505 Shelton Avenue
Shelton, Connecticut, United States

Obituary of Barbara Ann Santa

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Barbara Tracy Santa, 91, of Shelton, CT, slipped reluctantly from this sphere on August 9, 2023, after a brief struggle with cancer.

As wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, dear friend, and engaged member of many communities, she relished life in this world every day. Barbara Ann Tracy was born in Derby, CT, on August 23, 1931, to Louise and M. V. "Skill" Tracy. She grew up deeply freckled on Derby Avenue, surrounded by Stuart and McEnerney family members, and she excelled as a student at St. Mary's School.

After graduating from St. Mary's High School in New Haven, Barbara attended St. Raphael's School of Nursing, attaining her registered nursing degree in 1952. On a blind date in her final year at St. Raphael's, Barbara met George Santa, an apprentice furnace repair man for Santa Fuel. George and Barbara married in April 1953, setting up house-keeping in Black Rock and embarking on a marriage of 66 years truncated only by George's passing in August 2019.

Barbara and George left Black Rock in 1957 with son Tracy (1954) for homesteading in Huntington, and Barbara would remain a resident of Huntington for the remainder of her life, ushering daughters Georgianne (1961), Rosalyn (1966), and son Edward (1968) into this world. While Barbara was a "stay at home" mom, this role did not involve much staying at home in her case. In the earliest years, with a single charge, she could be found accomplishing domestic chores around the house, singing soft acapella renditions of Doris Day's "Que Sera, Sera." But before long, she was facilitating dance and swim lessons and every biddy league sport legal in the state of Connecticut, orchestrating sit-down family meals for an expanding brood every night of the week while wrangling a Girl Scout troop in the basement of Huntington School and CCD classes at St. Lawrence Church.

Barbara excelled as a bowler. On weekends, she could hit a golf ball straighter and get to the green quicker than George in most cases, though she rarely brought that to his attention. As a skier whose experience extended back to the early 1950s, she saw the tops of mountains throughout the U.S. over the course of decades. An avid traveler, Barbara enjoyed visiting grandchildren as much as cruising the Rhine and exploring Australia's Ayers Rock.

After kids became more independent, she returned to the workforce in her initial vocation, spending years as a nurse at St. Joseph's Manor. Her volunteer work in the Fairfield County community was broad-reaching, including participation in the Barnum Festival and St. Vincent's Hospital Auxiliary, where she facilitated "Swim Across the Sound," and served as Auxiliary president. She was a founding member of St. Lawrence parish in Huntington, where she led "Mother's Circle" and served as Eucharistic Minister, remaining an active member of that faith community for over sixty years.

Barbara will be lovingly remembered by daughter-in-law, Mary Catherine Santa; sons-in-law, Stephen Sheehy and Chris Porter; grandchildren, Bebe, Annie, Maggie, Ellen, Stephen, Claire, Macey, Cate, and Charlie; in-laws, Jane and Bud Santa, Irene and John Santa, Janet Santa, Stephaine DeForest, nephews, nieces, and many dear friends who shared her journey and companionship over decades. She is pre-deceased by her parents; sister, Patricia Zeoli; and her loving husband, George.

At the age of 15, Barbara traveled with her parents and her Uncle Bill—the only one in the family with a car—to begin her summer stint as a counselor at Girl Scout Camp Menotomy on New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee. She returned for a summer-long stint for several years and thereafter rarely passed a summer without traveling to her special place, which—in turn—became equally special to many of us extending down generations. A week before her passing, she spent the first of two scheduled weeks at a house overlooking Winnipesaukee with three generations of family in attendance. She sought peace and found joy there and shared that with all of us.

Barbara's Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 17, 2023 at St. Lawrence Church, 505 Shelton Ave, Huntington with Father Michael Jones officiating. Following mass, she will be buried at Lawn Cemetery in Huntington. Calling hours will be private.

Recognizing the wonderful care Barbara received during her illness, especially in her final days in ICU, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Nurse Education Fund, Bridgeport Hospital Foundation, 267 Grant Street, Bridgeport, CT 06610. You may also donate securely at

For travel directions or to sign her online guest register, please visit

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