Cheney, Barbara Ann, born on June 4, 1928 in Dorchester, died on February 5, 2021, at age 92. Barbara passed away peacefully in her home, with her adoring children by her side.
Barbara was the devoted wife of 70 years to the late, beloved Thomas F. Cheney and loving mother of Joseph and his wife Ann of Kissimmee, Florida, Michael of Quincy, Mary and husband Dan O’Neill of Stoughton, Maureen and her husband Rob Giffin of Surry, Maine, Kathleen of Quincy, Barbara and her husband Scott Brodeur of Northampton, Diane and her husband Stephen Bird of Hopkinton and her late son Thomas Jr. She was the proud grandmother of 15 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
Barbara was the sister to Mary Jepsen and husband Robert Jepsen of Dorchester, Paricia Troy and husband William Troy of Tewksbury and Charles Sim and wife Gail Sim of Pembroke.
Daughter of the late Gordon and Mary Sim, Barbara grew up in Dorchester where she attended Dorchester High School for Girls. Barbara married the love of her life, Tom, after he returned from serving in the United States Marines in World War II.
Barbara committed her life to nurturing and enjoying her beautiful family. She devoted her endless energy to being a wife and a mother, raising seven children with her husband, Tom. Throughout her life, Barbara built memories for her family, especially with her siblings and numerous nieces and nephews. Barbara and her siblings organized family adventures around camping, skiing, white-water rafting, snorkeling and sailing. Holidays and special events were jam-packed with fun and excitement. You could always count on a warm welcome from Barbara whether you were a member of the extended family or someone just along for the ride.
Barbara is known for her work with the elderly and children. She was the first site manager of the nutrition program for senior citizens at the Murphy Community School. She coached girls basketball, taught swimming and aerobics at the YMCA and coordinated youth tournaments and community fundraising events. Barbara was the first President of the Murphy Community School Council and was appointed to the Boston Finance Commission, where she was the Chairperson.
Barbara spent endless hours as a volunteer, helping others. She worked in the Read to Me Literacy Program for elementary school students, and she gave swimming lessons to children with special needs. She served for many years as a Eucharistic Minister and helped out with First Night Quincy. Barbara also volunteered on numerous political campaigns for everyone from Michael Dukakis, Raymond Flynn and Paul White as well as her own son Michael Cheney, a longtime member and President of the Quincy City Council.
As her children grew up, Barbara pursued her passion for travel, first as a travel agent, then with a regional airline and finally at Continental Airlines, where she worked for 15 years. This allowed her to travel all over the world, bringing her husband, children and grandchildren on many trips. In her high school yearbook, Barbara said she wanted “to see the world.” She more than lived up to that ambition.
Barbara and Tom’s children kept a map of the world in their Quincy basement. Their children placed pins in the map, representing all the places Barbara had visited. There were too many pins to count. Despite the many and exotic locations Barbara was able to visit -- often dragging her husband to places he would have rather skipped -- she had the most fun traveling with as many family members as she could coax to join them -- often cramming way too many people into one hotel room.
Her family knew her as someone who could always put a smile on your face. If you were a crying child in church, she was your lollipop dispenser. If you were one of her great-grandchildren, you were always offered a cuddle and a cascade of kisses -- as well as some ice cream.
She was a super-fan at all of her grandchildren’s sporting events. Not only would she be early to every game so she and Tom could get the best seats, but her cheers were always the loudest and stood out from the pack. She was also the first one to give you a post-game hug, whether you won or lost.
For her children, she was a comedian, a babysitter, a best friend and an inspiration. Not only did she teach the value of kindness, community and service, but she taught the value of what it meant to be a part of a strong and enduring family.
Visitation hours are Tuesday, Feb. 9 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Alfred D. Thomas Funeral Home, 326 Granite Avenue, Milton. Funeral Mass is Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. at Most Blessed Sacrament Church at 1015 Sea Street in Quincy. Virtual attendance for the wake and funeral is available via a zoom link. Barbara was passionate about service to those in need. In lieu of flowers please consider an act of kindness to someone in need.
To send flowers to Barbara's family, please visit our floral store.