Barbara Jane Kessler Dungey, 91, of Auburn passed away on December 21, 2018 at The Commons on St. Anthony, Auburn, NY. Born in Rockland, NY to the late Clarence L. and Florence Eells Kessler, Barbara grew up in the Catskills region and spent most of her adult life in Auburn.
Barbara was a people person! A loving, devoted mother, Barbara also welcomed strangers, friends, and exchange students into her home. She deeply cared about her community. She worshiped, sang in the choir, and served as a Deacon at Westminster Presbyterian Church. She volunteered for organizations such as the Auburn Service League, League of Women Voters, Church Women United, and S.A.V.A.R. to name just a few.
Barbara was always sketching or painting. A talented architectural and visual artist, she promoted the Auburn High School bond referendum with her architectural drawings. She continually painted beautiful works for pleasure or to give to others. In restaurants, while awaiting a meal, she surprised the wait staff who recognized themselves in Barbara’s sketches. Barbara and her husband Gordon loved to escape to their camp in Northern New York, “The North Fifty.” Barbara would paint or sew, while Gordon fished or blazed trails in the woods.
Barbara enjoyed genealogy and wrote family stories and poems. She taught writing classes to senior citizens at the Boyle Center in Auburn inspiring her students to write memoirs. The group published several books including, Echoes, Jottings, and Savor the Memories.
Throughout 55 years of marriage, Barbara and Gordon supported each other through good times and bad and always loved one another. Barbara was by Gordon’s side as he led the family business, Auburn Leathercrafters. They endured the loss of son Scott, who passed in 2004 due to heart complications. Barbara remained positive and uncomplaining after suffering a stroke in 1996. Although challenged by physical limitations and impaired vision, she continued painting, writing, and teaching.
We will miss Barbara’s cheery disposition, warmth, and peace-loving spirit. Loved by all who knew her, Barbara would encourage us all to find the good in others. She would advise us to record our life stories for future generations. Savor the memories!
Barbara is survived by her children, Kathleen J. Dungey Malinchoc, Walter E. (Silmara) Dungey, Paul G. (Kim) Dungey, Karl V. (Jill) Dungey, Byron J. (Susan) Dungey, Alan G. (Anita) Dungey and Kimberly M. (Kevin) McGuire. She is also survived by her son Scott’s wife Sherrie. She leaves behind 18 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, Barbara was predeceased her husband Gordon S. Dungey and son Scott D. Dungey. She was also predeceased by her brothers, Robert C. Kessler and John E. Kessler.
Our family extends their thanks to all the staff at The Commons for their daily efforts in caring for Barbara and other residents.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00PM on January 19, 2019 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 17 William Street, Auburn, NY. Calling hours will follow the Memorial Service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Barbara’s memory can be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church of Auburn, http://www.westminsterauburn.org or The American Heart Association, https://www.heart.org.
Funeral Services are being provided by The Brew Funeral Home.
Westminster Presbyterian Church
17 william Street, Auburn NY 13021