Barbara R. Meara (nee Ryan) died peacefully surrounded by her 6 children and many of her 16 grandchildren. She was sent off with an abundance of love and prayers. Her last healthy day on this planet was spent making sure she got to Mass for the Feast of the Assumption -- and she did.
Barbara was a Bronx girl through and through. Born in the Fordham section, she attended St. Nicholas of Tolentine and graduated as valedictorian. She went on to The College of New Rochelle where she got her degree in Education. She taught in New York City public schools for several years. After her children were raised, she went to Lehman College and obtained her Masters Degree in Education and went back to work in an early education program that she loved dearly. She was a lifelong teacher and student, continuing to read and observe and debate right up until the end. Her favorite pastime without doubt was reading a good book and she loved her vast collection. Her favorites were history and politics.
There would be no arguing the fact that Barbara was the most committed and passionate defender of the unborn that has ever lived. Her devotion to defending the defenseless was unmatched. Deeply involved in the pro-life movement for over five decades, she was the leader of New York State Right to Life for many years, just concluding her Chairmanship in recent months.
She married Jack Meara in 1955 and settled happily in Riverdale. She supported her husband wholeheartedly in the founding of the New York Firefighter's Burn Center. She was the daughter, wife, and mother of New York firefighters, and the FDNY held a very special place in her heart.
With all of these accomplishments behind her, her final thoughts were for her children and grandchildren and the love and gratitude she had for them. Above all else her proudest accomplishment was her family. She was predeceased by her husband Jack, her parents Winnie and Elmer Ryan, and her sister Virginia Chelchowski. She is survived by her loving sisters Patricia Ryan and Alexandra (Arlie) Mustoe and her children Mary (Mike) Faiella, Anne Meara, Jack (Geri) Meara, Tom (Eileen) Meara, Margaret (Manus) Clancy, and Patrick Meara. And her shining achievement in life was her grandchildren and their spouses whom she loved deeply. Tom, Rebecca, Liz, Dan, Katie, Chris, Krissy, John, Ryan, Paul, Jack, Steven, Grace, Joe, Samantha, Manus, Teresa, Caroline, and Matthew will feel her loving influence forevermore.
Reposing Tuesday 2-8 pm at Riverdale-on-Hudson Funeral Home 6110 Riverdale Ave. Bronx, NY. Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday 9:45am at St. Margaret of Cortona Church. Interment St. Mary’s Cemetery, Yonkers NY..