Barbara Jane Keith
1929 – 2023
CHATHAM - On the morning of November 4, 2023, our world lost a special light and the sweetest soul. Our beautiful mother Barbara Jane (Kittredge) Keith lived a glorious and elegant life. Born on June 7, 1929, in Swampscott, Massachusetts she was our Queen Bee and we adored her more than words can express.
As an only child, she was immersed in music – her mother taught piano and her father was an avid singer. Barbara was a gifted pianist, who at the age of 6 naturally played by ear. She could hear a song once and immediately perform an improvised version. She was also classically trained and loved playing anything from Chopin to Gershwin. We have many memories of holidays and parties with laughter and music as everyone gathered around Barbara’s baby grand, singing along to favorites.
Her family moved to West Dennis when she was a young girl and she fell in love with Cape Cod – her childhood was filled with memories of riding her bike to spend the entire day at West Dennis beach, meeting Gregory Peck at the Cape Playhouse, and life during WW2 – with victory gardens, blackout regulations, and USO dances. The Cape was always home to her.
Barbara attended Katherine Gibbs College and upon graduating she worked for an advertising agency. She loved her time in Boston, and she was a knockout; people couldn’t keep their eyes off her! While in the city she met the greatest gentleman in the world, George Keith, who fell head over heels. Their 65-year marriage was the kind most people dream about and they had four children. After living in Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut, they moved the family to Cincinnati and cherished the 23 years spent there, making many close friends. Her love of art and history attracted her to the Cincinnati Art Museum, and she became a docent, giving fun and memorable tours. In 1984 they retired to the Cape and built a lovely home in Chatham where they entertained family and friends for many years. Barbara continued to play the piano, take painting classes, and was a long-time docent at the Cape Cod Museum of Art. Her curious, kind, and fun good nature was contagious - anyone around her was cast under her sweet spell as she whistled and laughed.
She was predeceased by her parents Olga (Pihl) and Frank W. Kittredge, beloved husband George, as well as her son, Bradford Keith, who passed away earlier this year. She was beyond treasured by her 3 daughters and sons-in-law, Betsy & Thomas Zeumer of NY; Nancy Keith and Bob Perry of East Dennis, MA; and Sarah Keith and Steve Knight of Orleans, MA. She was the loveliest and sweetest grandmother to Alexandra van Zyl and Maximillian Zeumer of NY and adored Alexandra’s husband, Juan. The bond of love in our family is sacred and we have been so blessed to have been your daughters.
The last few years Barbara was a resident at Liberty Commons, and we give our heartfelt thanks to the caring and outstanding staff that made our mom feel loved and comforted.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 30th, 2023 at 11:00 am at the First Congregational Church in Chatham.
For online condolences, please visit http://www.nickersonfunerals.com.
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