On the 7th of March, 2022, Barbara Anne DiCara, née Johnson, originally of Syracuse, NY, died peacefully in Portland, Maine at the age of 81. Barbara was born to Juanita and Herbert Johnson in 1940. She was raised by Juanita and her stepfather Hank Judge, and she danced her happy teen years away to the music of the fifties. She eventually met and married her husband, Alphonse DiCara, and settled in Randolph, New Jersey to raise her family. First her daughter Kristin, then her two sons Stephan and Gregory, were fortunate to grow up nurtured by her generous spirit, positivity, and pleasant demeanor. She was once nicknamed Jolly Mom, and the name stuck. She had a wonderful, unpretentious sense of humor which not only put everyone at ease, but also kept those around her in stitches at times. Without even trying, she would do or say silly things which became immediate comic classics, providing endless laughter for those who bore witness.
When her children got older, she cautiously entered the working world again, after a long stint as soccer mom and summer beach chaperone. She used her pleasant, positive demeaner to become a medical receptionist par excellence. Nervous patients called in for appointment requests or dreaded test results and were immediately put to ease, perhaps partially healed, by her singsong, warm, welcoming voice. She retired to Portland, Maine, where she was able to be a part of her daughter Kristin’s growing family and gaze out the window at a perpetual prayer being continuously answered – endless snow!
Barbara was an itinerant traveler inside. She ventured out cross country as a single lady and was on the road again years later as a married mom in a motor home, painstakingly researching fastest routes, must see attractions, and the best campsites with a water slide. Single again in later life, she toured Napa Valley, Italy, and Central Europe, revealing an adventurous streak and wanderlust which wasn’t evident at first glance.
Barbara is survived by her three children, Kristin, Stephan, and Gregory, her six grandchildren, and her brother Arthur. A private memorial, full of jolly laughter and stories, is being planned in Syracuse. Her family is comforted, and even slightly amused, by the thought of her laughing and jitterbugging across the heavens, and having the great time which she most definitely deserves, as some of her last words were, “Don’t worry about me, I’m so happy here!”
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