Barbara A. (Clark) Waka
- July 31, 1932 - December 19, 2011
- Melrose, Massachusetts
of Barbara's Passing
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Message from the Family
Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Barbara by adding your memories and photos.
Arrangements made by
Gately Funeral Home
Memories & CandlesPrevious
So sorry to hear of your loss. May God be with you and give you strength. Know that you are loved, your mom was loved and you have many...Read More »
1 of 15 | Posted by: Nina Di Orio - Melrose, MA
“Naomi -- Bruce forwarded the news to me - and it brought back a flood of memories. Our families were intertwined for years. I am so sorry to hear...Read More »
2 of 15 | Posted by: Beverly Johnson Marchi - Raeigh, NC
“I'm so sorry to read of your mother passing.I wanted to leave this message of having been a student of your wonderful father( the best teacher). How...Read More »
3 of 15 | Posted by: Sue Sarno Lemure - saugus, MA
What a wonderful tribute to your Mother. The beautiful pictures brought
back some memories. Your Mom was such a beautiful person.
I hope all...Read More »
4 of 15 | Posted by: DORTHY OLLEK - MANTUA, NJ
We are very sorry to hear of the passing of your mother.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this very difficult time
Geri Wensing ...Read More »
5 of 15 | Posted by: Geri Wensing - Stoneham, MA
Veronica and I wish you our deepest sympathies at this time in you life. We know that your mom and dad loved each other and you...Read More »
6 of 15 | Posted by: James & Veronica Waka - FL
We were saddened to hear of your mother's passing.
At time's like this, we can't help but remember how fragile life is.
May you...Read More »
7 of 15 | Posted by: Laura Minami - cousin
We know that we can never replace your mom, but just remember that we're always here for you. Your mom will surely be missed by us all...Read More »
8 of 15 | Posted by: Eleanor Minami - West Hills, CA
“My deepest condolences to you and your family.
9 of 15 | Posted by: Mary Belmonte - Melrose, MA
My deepest sympathy. I am glad I was able to pick up your mom at the airport last year and see her once again. I wish it was under better...Read More »
10 of 15 | Posted by: Victor Waka - Broomlyn, NY
I am very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Melrose High School-Class of...Read More »
11 of 15 | Posted by: John Brickley - Melrose, MA
“Naomi, I am so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. I remember you fondly from high school. You were always so friendly, intelligent, and...Read More »
12 of 15 | Posted by: Paula Calderaro DiGiovine - MA
I'm so sorry to read of your mother's passing. I well remember the beautiful garden behind your house--a garden all the library patrons...Read More »
13 of 15 | Posted by: Linda Granfield - Toronto, Canada
“Naomi, My prayers and thoughts are with you. Your Mom My Aunt will surely be missed. Anytime you need someone to talk to I'm there for you. Love,...Read More »
14 of 15 | Posted by: Diana Waka - Bethpage, NY
“Barbara A. (Clark) Waka of Melrose, 79 years old and the wife of the late R. John Waka, died on Monday, December 19, 2011 from spinal meningitis...Read More »
15 of 15 | Posted by: John Gately, Fred Sprague & Steve Bartholowmew - MA
Barbara A. (Clark) Waka of Melrose, 79 years old and the wife of the late R. John Waka, died on Monday, December 19, 2011 from spinal meningitis following surgery at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Her only child, Naomi, was with her during this final journey.
She retired in 1999 from the Kennedy School located in Somerville where she worked as a School Adjustment Counselor. While working full-time at the Kennedy School, Barbara was also a production weaver. She created beautiful works which sold in numerous boutiques and shops as well as stores such as Bonwit Teller and Neiman Marcus of Beverly Hills.
As a weaver, her emphasis was color. She considered herself a colorist, choosing one or more variegated yarns along with solids to create a wonderful painterly interest. Through the years Barbara continued developing her work, changing with the times, adding tencel and fine silk to her existing line of chenille and mohair.
The Waka family lived in an old Victorian home in Melrose which they lovingly worked to restore while keeping with the original style inside and out. The house represented a lifelong devotion and embodied the identities of both she and her husband, Jack. She loved the family gardens, trees, orchids, and especially the rose and remembrance gardens.
The many interests of Barbara Waka included a love of Siamese cats which led to her family raising kittens for many years. Travel was another passion. Vacation trips throughout the U.S., England, France, and Italy were high points of her life. She appreciated fine gourmet food and had the opportunity to sample the world's best. Her favorites were found in some of Boston's finest restaurants.
Barbara's positive outlook was very instrumental in helping her husband, Jack, overcome a spinal cord injury, the result of a devastating accident in 1991. She was his ever-present guide to recovery, overcoming barriers, and making a life. With his death in 2002, their partnership ended and Barbara's world changed. Despite this great change, she continued weaving, producing beautiful works of art infused with color.
Mrs. Waka was the devoted wife of the late Richard John Waka, loving mother of Naomi Waka of CA, sister-in-law of Eleanor and Monte Minami of CA, James and Veronica Waka of FL and the late Frank & Mitchi Waka. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews as well as her cousin, Dorothy Ollek.
A Celebration of Barbara's Life is scheduled for Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 11am at the Green Street Baptist Church, 179 Green Street, Melrose, MA, 02176. Reception is to follow immediately after the service concludes. All of Barbara's relatives and friends are welcome. The family is being assisted by the Gately Funeral Home of Melrose with the arrangements.