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Barbara E. Conway 1938-2022

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Barbara Elizabeth Hall Conway of East Haven, Connecticut on August 2, 2022. Born in Youngstown, Ohio on March 10, 1938, Barbara was the daughter of the late Gus Hall and Elizabeth Turner Hall.

Barbara grew up in Cleveland with her parents and her brother Arvo. She attended Case Western Reserve University and then completed her degree at Kent State. She and her family later moved to New Haven, Connecticut and resided for many years in Orange. While raising her children, Barbara attended graduate school at Southern Connecticut State University.

In 1975 she started working as a programmer and research associate in the Department of Psychology at Yale University. This was the early days of programming that involved a pile of punch cards which were often found in boxes all over the house. While at Yale, she was Dr. Bob Sternberg's research associate. She was in charge of giving out computer time to the graduate students, which was very important to them. Students found her kind and helpful. She was able to guide graduate students in many aspects of their research design and data analysis. Later, she went to the Yale Computer Center (YCC), where she was a programmer analyst. She had to fight for her title and salary in that male dominated setting. And here the two sides of her nature came into play. She was sweet, kind and helpful, but she eventually had to be forceful and adamant to get what she deserved. She worked at Yale for 36 years and retired in 2011.

In the late 70s Barbara started hosting an annual love-filled Christmas Eve party for family and friends. Food, drink, laughter, gifts and a pretty big crowd filled her home each year. Handed down to her daughter Kirsten, it is a tradition that continues to this day. She loved staying in hotels with her family and was known to spend the weekend in a hotel just to swim in a pool, eating double stuff oreos and watching TV in bed with her grandchildren. She was equally fond of eating in restaurants with family and friends. And as her grandchildren would tell you, no meal ever ended without dessert.

Devoted to her family, Barbara loved being Mom, Grandma, and Super Gram. She loved searching for the perfect gift and usually succeeded. If a family member had a question about cooking, home décor, gardening, politics, or any other topic, Barbara would spend hours researching and providing valuable information. She was happiest when she was with family and friends—watching her children’s and grandchildren’s activities, celebrating birthdays and holidays, vacationing on Long Island, and traveling far and wide. Always compassionate and generous, Barbara welcomed many friends to her home for extended stays. She was an avid reader and especially enjoyed mysteries. Fairness, equity, and integrity were important to Barbara; she was an activist and advocate for human rights.

Barbara was predeceased by her son, Roger T. Conway, Jr., in July of 2020 and by her daughter, Heather Liberman Smith, in May of 2022. Barbara is survived by her daughter, Kirsten Mason (Seth); daughter-in-law, Hope Conway; and son-in-law, Scot Smith. Barbara will be dearly missed by all her grandchildren, Ari Liberman (Tracy), Sarah Garcia Scalici (Demian) and Kyle Liberman; Hunter, Ethan and Madeline Mason; and Grace and Avery Conway; and great grandchildren Meira, Cy, Brigg, and Eliza Liberman and Kensley Garcia Scalici. Barbara also leaves behind her brother Arvo Hall (Linda), nephews, cousins, and many life-long friends.

Please join us in celebrating her life Sunday, September 17th from 12:00 pm to 3 pm at Sarah and Demian Garcia Scalici’s home in Guilford, CT. Bring your own beach chair.

In lieu of flowers, we request that memorial contributions be made to a woman's rights organization of your choice.

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