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Barbara Ann Dempsey Daly (aka Barb, Babs, BAD, and Big B), of Montclair peacefully passed from this life to the next on Saturday, April 11. She was 89. 

Barbara was born to Andrew F. and Veronica Dempsey on Nov. 22, 1930, in East Orange, the oldest sibling of three, including Patricia Faherty (deceased) and Andrew F. Dempsey of Hilton Head, S.C. Barbara attended St. Vincent’s Academy High School and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Caldwell College in 1952.

She was a first-grade teacher at St. Cassian School in Montclair when it opened in 1953. She left teaching to stay at home with her five children, born in a span of seven years. Barbara was a woman ahead of her time, with an entrepreneurial spirit that led her to turn her fascination and knowledge of antiques into a business buying, selling, and restoring antiques. 

In her younger years, Barbara was a great entertainer; her home was often the hub for bridge games, holiday meals, and lively gatherings. She loved to dance and could sing pretty much every tune from her beloved musicals. She was an avid tennis and paddle tennis player and skier. A lover of nature, she was a member of the garden club, knew the name of every flowering tree, and cultivated an impressive collection of indoor plants.

Barbara had a sense of adventure and curiosity that bred a love of travel. She enjoyed meeting new people, seeing new places, experiencing life to the fullest. She traveled across the country and around the world, but one of her favorite places was Cape Cod, where the family spent many happy summers and holidays.

She was known for her quick wit and deep emotions. She was smart, sharp, and sassy. She was funny and silly, especially with her grandkids. She spoke truth unabashedly. She cried at every wedding, every parade, and every classic old movie, especially the romantic ones. Barbara Ann Dempsey Daly lived a full life. She will be missed.

Besides her brother, Barbara is survived by five children, including Seton Beckwith and her husband Brian; Elise Daly Parker and her husband Christopher; Phyllis Doerr and her husband Randy; Charles P. Daly, and Shelagh Miller and her husband Michael. Barbara was grandmother to 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren and aunt to eight nieces and nephews. Affectionately known as Gammy, Barbara attended every concert and sports event and led frequent park excursions with a gaggle of grandchildren who were her joy.

A memorial service will be planned at a future date. Online condolences can be made and updates found at www.moriartyfh.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, https://alzfdn.org/.

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