The kind spirit of Barbara Ann DiBenedetto departed this earth on June 12, 2020 from hospice in Longmont, Colorado. Barbara was adopted by her late parents Anthony and Elvira Misiti of South Boston Massachusetts immediately after her birth on May 15, 1944. Barbara is survived by her son Steven DiBenedetto, daughter-in-law Nicole DiBenedetto and great grand children Althea Analee Freund and Waylon Gray. She was predeceased by her best friend and husband of nearly 50 years, Joseph DiBenedetto, daughter Elizabeth DiBenedetto and grandson Forrest Knowles.
A generous, caring, and gentle soul, Barbara made a career of nursing after graduating from Mount Auburn Nursing school in 1965 and receiving her BS in Nursing from Boston University. She met Joseph while a student at Mt. Auburn hospital where he was an orderly at the time. She began her distinguished nursing career as a visiting nurse providing care for those in need in under-privileged areas of Boston in the late 60’s. Soon after her wedding was a stint as a nurse and officer’s wife in the Panama Canal Zone during Joseph’s US Army deployment to the tropics in the early 1970’s. Upon returning to the States and receiving her master’s degree in Community Health Nursing at Boston University in 1975 she embarked as a nursing instructor, beginning as a Nursing Professor at the Ohio State University, then Northeastern University in Boston, and continuing with various professorships at Elms College and Greenfield Community college in Western Massachusetts through the 1980’s all while raising her family there with Joe. Her transition into nursing executive roles began with her position as the Director of Child and Pediatric Nursing at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton Massachusetts, where she was eventually promoted to Vice President for Nursing Services. She then moved on to become Vice President of Patient Care Services at Saratoga Hospital in Saratoga Springs, NY in the mid 1990’s. She capped her career prior to retirement as an interim hospital executive consultant where she would attempt to turn around troubled hospitals around the US through training and mentoring new hospital executives.
Barbara always prided herself on teaching, mentoring, and giving people second chances. Some of her proudest professional accomplishments revolved around creating unique diversion programs for nurses who suffered from addiction and then went on to become successful nurse managers. She also was a member of Leadership Saratoga and served on the Board of Directors of several charitable organizations including Transitional Services Association and Shelters of Saratoga which provide shelter and support for those experiencing mental illness, homelessness, and substance abuse.
Even with such focus and passion on her career and charitable work, she always made time for her family, never missed any of their sporting events while they were growing up and always had sage guidance and advice at the ready, whether solicited or not. The daughter of a proud Italian family, she relished cooking and entertaining friends and family, especially the ensuing spirited debates at the dinner table. Barbara also loved animals and was never without several adopted shelter pets in her home. During her younger years she also enjoyed skiing, and her passion for snow sports passed on to her children. In her retirement she and Joe took to enjoying Caribbean and Alaska cruising and travelling to visit their children and taking lunches with friends.
There are no formal memorial services planned at this time, with hopes for a day of remembrance in September in Saratoga where she will be joined in eternal rest with Joseph at Saratoga National Cemetery. Donations in her honor and memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) to support research towards a cure and the assistance of families affected by this devastating disease.
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