In the early morning of September 15th, 2016, Barbara, 84 years young, peacefully passed away and began her journey to heaven to be with her beloved husband Louis “Jack” James, her sister Mary Griffin and her parents William Osborne Purcell and Sarah Barbara Purcell. Just as she chose to live her life, she was surrounded by loved ones at her passing.
Barbara was born December 21st, 1931 in Hartford, Connecticut. She graduated from Notre Dame Preparatory School in Baltimore, Maryland and received a Bachelor of Science from what is now Virginia Commonwealth University. Her passion for teaching was extraordinary and for over thirty years she shared her gift as an adored elementary school teacher in Fairfax County, VA. She is still remembered today by many of her former students. In the years following she centered her life around her children and especially her most beloved grandchildren. She also continued to bless everyone with beautiful poetry and artwork.
Barbara’s magnetic spirit will continue to live on through her beloved family members.
She is survived by her three children and their spouses, Jeffrey and Patricia James of Atlanta, GA, Jennifer and Scott Blanton of Richmond, VA, and Christopher and Georgina James of Oakton, VA; as well as her brother and his wife, William and Ann Purcell of Orlando, FL; and many wonderful nieces and nephews. She touched so many lives with her generous heart and will be remembered by many as “Grammy”, the caring and witty grandmother to Kaleigh, Delaney, & Caroline Blanton, Jeff, Patrick, Jagger & Jade James.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 5:00 pm at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Gayton Road in Richmond, VA. A reception celebrating her life will follow at the home of Scott and Jennifer Blanton.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to her favorite charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105.