Barbara Wing Hall, age 86, died peacefully at Woodside Hall in Cooperstown on Thursday, May 5, 2011.
Barbara was the daughter of Bruce Hall and Elsa (Murdock) Hall. Her father, Bruce, was the founder of Bruce L. Hall and Son (later to become Bruce Hall Corp.) She was predeceased by her brother, Murdock Hall; and a son, Bradley DevendorfWhite, who died during infancy in 1960.
She was married to Richard A. White (originally from Kellogsville) for 27 years, had four children together, andlater divorced.
She leaves behind three children, Ellen White Weir (along with her husband, Michael Weir), Richard A. White Jr. (residing in Stockbridge, Mass.,) and David V. White (residing in Ithaca); and one grandson, Eli White Weir. She also leaves behind her nephews, Greg, Bruce and Clark Hall; her niece, Shatzi Hall; and many dear friends.
Barbara was a true nativeof Cooperstown. She was born in the original Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital before it temporarily closed its doors in the year of her birth in 1925.
She grew up playing by the shores of Otsego Lake where her parents owned a camp near Five Mile Point. She never lost her love of the lake and this areas amazing beauty, and until very recently, if you saw a red kayak moving up the river or quietly approaching Fairy Springs, it might have been Barbara. She also cherished her connection to the communityand its wonderful people.
She was a graduate of Cooperstown High School in the class of 1942. She then attended Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School and graduated in 1944. Her formal education was to be continued a little later when she earned a bachelor’s degree from Empire State College in 1994, at the age of 69.
Barbara had many years of employment for various local establishments including the Knox School, the Scriven Foundation, Hickory Grove Motor Inn, and the Child Welfare Department.
Later she lobbied extensively for New York State Divorce law reform. Afteryears of working with state senators and assemblymen to change New York’s then inequitable laws regarding community property, Barbara took great satisfaction in counseling women through difficult transitions.
She and Susan King cofounded and organized WITS (Women in Transition) which was a support group forboth women and men going through divorce.
She was active in helping Bill Schaeffer promote Transcendental Meditation in the Cooperstown area, and continued with this practice throughout her life.
Barbara loved her years as proprietor of “The Hall Tree Bed & Breakfast,” where the guests many times became friends.
She volunteered at various local businesses including Bassett Health Care, Catskill Hospice, The Cooperstown Village Library and Food Bank.
She was an early and continuous supporter of Glimmerglass Opera, and supported many charitable organizations both locally and nationally.
Her giving nature extended beyond work in organizations though, and shined even more brightly on a personal level. She was an endearing mother both inside and outside of her family, and was always there for a friend in need. Her friends were of all ages and from all walks of life, and her compassion and free spirit touched many people. Barbara can be remembered by giving gifts to
Catskill Area Hospice, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY13820, Planned Parenthood, 37 Dietz St., Oneonta, NY 13820 or the Susquehanna SPCA, 4841 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
There will be a celebration of Barbara’s life at a later date.
Arrangements are under the guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
Published on  May 12, 2011