Obituary: Barbara B. Mey (1928-2023)

Barbara Bertrand (Goddard) Mey of Newport, RI died on Wednesday March 22, 2023 at home with her children by her side. She was the beloved wife and soulmate of the late Walter Charles Mey Sr.

Barbara, a native Newporter, was born to the late Bertrand (Martin) Goddard and Raymond Nelson Goddard. Barbara was raised on Narragansett Avenue, in the old Fifth Ward, and was a graduate of St. Augustin’s and St. Catherine’s Academy and was a graduate of the Newport School of Nursing, class of (1948). Her closest friends from childhood, high school, and nursing school, affectionately called “The Club”, continued to meet several times each year over the last 45 years, supporting each other and comparing notes about their families and life accomplishments. She was also one of the original founding members of Gooseberry Beach, and a member of Hazards Beach Club. Barbara and Walt were amongst the founding families which attended Cluny School.

Shortly after graduating as a Registered Nurse (RN) in 1948, from the Newport School of Nursing, Barbara began her nursing career as a Public Health Nurse. As a young Public Health Nurse in Newport, Barbara was in her element, walking door to door throughout the underprivileged sections of Newport providing critical nursing care to those in need. Barbara’s natural physical beauty was only surpassed by her intrinsic compassion and unconditional love for others. On Valentine’s Day 1953 at St. Augustin’s Church, she married Walter C. Mey, and took a hiatus from her nursing career for the next 30 years, to dedicate herself to raising her seven children. Taking on the role of Mom, was her most cherished duty and accomplishment. Being a life partner to Walt and raising her children was Barbara’s true joy and life commitment. After her children had left home, Barbara would return to the nursing profession where she would work for Looking Upwards and continue to provide private duty care to many elderly patients on Aquidneck Island. Barbara would finally retire in 1993 to dedicate her time to her husband, Walt, who suffered from a long and debilitating disease. Barbara would also love to spend time with her eleven grandchildren in her retirement.

Barbara and Walt purchased and moved into the Mey homestead at 134 Coggeshall Avenue, Newport in 1957. Barbara, together with her loving husband Walt, would make Coggeshall Avenue her home and epicenter of her life for over 60 years, managing, caring for, nurturing, and mentoring her seven children. Barbara left her Coggeshall Avenue home and beloved Newport in 2019 and moved to her daughter Barbara, and son in law Jay Madden’s home in Portsmouth. Daughter, Barbara, and her husband Jay, provided extraordinary, continuous, loving care and 24/7 daily assistance to help Barbara Senior live out her last years with the dignity, respect, and love, she so deserved. In addition, Mrs. Ann Marie Ferri, who provided daily care for Barbara, for the last seven years was a key component of Barbara’s longevity and outstanding nursing care. The Mey family will always be indebted to Ann Marie for the incredible love and care she provided to Barbara, and she will always be considered a part of the Mey family. Barbara’s daughter Carolyn, also a Registered Nurse, provided valuable and dedicated care, and support to Barbara Senior in her final years and during her end-of-life transition period.

A devout catholic, Barbara was a communicant of St. Augustin’s Church in Newport. Barbara reveled in her children’s accomplishments and loved traveling, attending graduations, sporting events, birthdays and sharing in the other activities and the accomplishments and celebrations of her children and grandchildren. Most of all she loved family gatherings at her home, which would inevitably involve lots of laughter and fond memories.

Barbara’s kind, nurturing and compassionate personality, which always involved helping others, also included a passion for animals and her love of dogs. Jackie, Ara, Irish, Bobo, Veggie, Moses, Sam, Gengas, Meysy & Daisy, Boots and most recently Teddy will also be a part of her enduring spirit and legacy.

Barbara’s greatest love and joy in her life was her family, and the love of her life, her deceased husband, Walt. Barbara leaves seven children, Raymond S. Mey and his wife Patricia (Dee) of Park City, UT; Christopher J. Mey of Newport; Stephen Mey and his wife Veronica of Rockville, MD; Terrence E. Mey and his wife Claire of Middletown; Barbara I. Mey and her husband Jay Madden of Jamestown; Carolyn Martin and her husband Michael of Middletown; and Walter C. Mey Jr. and his wife Kirsten of Middletown.

Barbara was a beloved and devoted grandmother and is survived by eleven grandchildren; Valerie, Jamie, Alexandra, Robert, Carly, Avery, Charlie, Wyatt, Chase, Brennan, and Michael Jr. Barbara is also survived by her brother, Stephen R. Goddard and his wife Susan of Middletown.

Our sincere gratitude goes out to the many friends and relatives who stopped into Barbara’s home over the last few years to visit and share fond memories together, and to Barbara’s daughter, Carolyn Martin (RN), Visiting Nurse Chaplain Mary Holland, VNS Nurses Jane Ouellette, Anita Soares, Amy Hill, Terri Teft, and Eileen along with home health caregivers Norah, Ellen, and Margo Pires for all their professional help and gracious assistance expended to our mother.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Monday, April 3, 2023 in St. Augustin’s Church, corner of Carroll & Harrison Ave, Newport at 10:00 AM. Burial will follow in St. Columba Cemetery, 465 Brown’s Ln, Middletown.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Newport County, 95 Church St, Newport, RI 02840 and/or to the Potter League for Animals, 87 Oliphant Ln, Middletown, RI 02842.




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