Dorothy MacDonald Barson
July 1, 1930 – January 26, 2023
Dorothy MacDonald Barson, age 92, a resident of Richmond VA, formerly of Wappingers Falls NY, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 26, 2023, surrounded by family.
Dorothy was born to Oscar and Dora MacDonald on a farm in Missouri, the youngest of nine children. After graduating from high school, she moved to Ames, IA where she worked as a receptionist/secretary for a doctor’s office. While in Ames, she met her husband, Fred Barson. After their marriage, they moved to New York to start their family. Dorothy was a dedicated wife and enjoyed being a mother to her two daughters. Her kindness extended to many of the children of the neighborhood, who loved to spend time with “Mommy Barson”. After her daughters were grown, Dorothy worked for 45 years for the National Park Service as a tour guide at Eleanor Roosevelt’s home, Valkill, in Hyde Park, NY. Dorothy loved meeting the people visiting
the park and enjoyed sharing her knowledge of Eleanor and the Roosevelt family. She was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, and her husband of 46 years, Fred Barson.
Dorothy is survived by her daughters, Barb Abu-Jaber (Matt), and Jodie Rowland (Kevin); grandchildren Amir, Talal, Timor, Stuart, Clare, and Jacob; and great-grandchildren Xander, Ripley, and Shepard. Dorothy also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, and friends who will miss her and her joy for life.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date in New York.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages contributions to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Doctors Without Borders, and/or Smile Train.
Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to meet Dorothy, but we got the pleasure to know her daughter Barb..
We say the daughter is a reflection of her mom…
And therefore I say Dorothy must have been a great person, coz only a genuinely warm hearted and sincere person can raise an amazing woman like Barb!
May she rest in peace 🙏🏻 ❤️
Dot was a kind, wonderful woman. I got to know her while working with her at Eleanor Roosevelt’s home Val-Kill, the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site. We were kindred spirits in that we shared a love of Mrs. Roosevelt. Dot had a fierce devotion to Eleanor. I was young. Dot knew that I had moved far away from my family for the first time so she invited me to Thanksgiving dinner. Dot and Fred made me feel at home. I sense that over the years she took in people who needed a welcome, whether it was myself or girls in the neighborhood who were friends of her daughters. We kept in touch over the years and I always enjoyed reading her yearly letter enclosed in her Christmas card – her summary of the past year. The last time I saw Dot, during the hours we had together, she shared stories of growing up on her family’s farm, her introduction to Fred and early years with him, her family, and reminiscences of friends in her Wappingers Falls neighborhood. I could tell she was proud of her family. Hers was a life well lived – with much love for her family, a job she enjoyed and to which she was devoted, and an appreciation for her friends. I am glad for the kindness she extended to me and for her example. She will be missed. My condolences go out to her family and friends.