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Barbara J. Heagerty

Oswego, NY – Barbara Jane (Riley) Heagerty passed away on Monday January 20, 2014, surrounded by her family at St.Luke’s Medical Facility in Oswego.

She was the daughter of Fred “Ownie” Riley and Loretta Brady Riley.

Barbara J. Heagerty
Barbara J. Heagerty

She was a lifetime resident of Oswego and a graduate of St. Paul’s Academy and Oswego High School.

Affectionately known as “Babs” and “Ma” by her family and close friends, she is survived by her husband John J. Heagerty of 63 years; five sons, John Mark (Kathy) of Colorado, Noel Riley (Caroline) of Oswego and Arizona, Dean Gerard, Paul Jude (Debra) of Oswego and Michael Patrick (Mary) of Long Island; one sister, Donna Riley Atkins.

She was also predeceased by her brother, Owen B. Riley; and infant son, Jerome.

Barbara had seven grandchildren: Paulie, Jack, Mike, Riley, Annie, Michael and T.J.

Barbara also had great affection for her “grand-dog,” Toby.

While raising their sons, Barbara and John attended many Little League and high school baseball games of the boys and later on, was usually front row for their musical performances.

She followed the footsteps of her father, Ownie Riley, and was a full-time, ardent fan of the New York Yankees, as was all her sons and husband.

Every year the family would vacation either in Lake George, Bolton Landing or especially Old Forge and the memories of these events were unending.

Once the boys were raised, she returned to the workforce as a parent aide for Catholic Charities, where her compassion, sensitivity and loving heart were put to good use for many years.

She was also a member of Catholic Daughters, the Hospital Auxiliary and the Altar Rosary Society.

Many happy, warm and festive events were had in front of what was simply referred to as “The Fireplace” in the center room of the Heagerty home.

It was here where many people visited from far and wide, the door being open to all, and Barbara’s outstanding sense of humor usually led the laughter which seemed to never end.

As a final goodbye, Barbara had left behind for us a poem she had found of exquisite beauty, by Mary Elizabeth Frye, and we end this obituary with it as a gift for all who knew her, Barbara Jane Heagerty.

Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the glisten on the snow.
I am the sunlight on the grain and the gentle Autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush, I am that uplifting rush.
When you see birds in flight, I am those stars you see at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there I did not die.

Honoring Barbara’s wishes, there will be no calling hours or funeral services at this time.

A celebration of her life will be announced at a later date.

Future arrangements will be directed by the Dowdle Funeral Home.

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