Barbara R. Spaziano (Mirarchi), 85, of North Providence, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 16, 2021 with her loving daughter by her side. She was the wife of the late Richard J. Spaziano. Born in Providence, she was the daughter of the late Vincenzo and Lucia (Catalano) Mirarchi.
Born in Providence, RI, Barbara's family ventured to Sicily to see relatives before WWII broke out. Not long after they arrived, the sea lanes were closed to all commercial travelers, as Europe was besieged with war. Consequently, she, her mother and siblings could not return to the United States, and Barbara spent much of her early childhood in Sicily. She, her mother, sister and brother, along with their cherished Aunt Franca, survived WWII as an American family living in an Axis Alliance country. The love and resourcefulness of her family was inevitably what shaped the quiet strength that Barbara possessed.
She and her family returned to the States in 1946, where Barbara quickly made lifelong friends, continued her education and eventually met the love of her life, Richard. The two went to high school together but did not date until after graduation. A chance meeting led to a steadfast romance, and the two were married in Germany in 1957.
Barbara was a hairdresser at Donnell's Salon for many years and later worked as an administrative assistant for the Federal Hill House in Providence. Her coworkers remember her as a remarkable woman who never spoke an unkind word. She appreciated life and all it had to offer. Barbara could often be found traveling, dining out with friends or dancing to the sounds of the big bands and the crooners.
A kind and loving soul, family was always of the utmost importance to her; and if she counted you as her friend, she regarded you as family. Barbara and her husband made their home close to each other's families, and Sunday dinners with her mother, her sister Helen and her brother-in-law George were a constant in her life. She treated the neighborhood children as if they were her own. She was always quick to give of herself, be it fixing the hem on your pant leg, giving sewing lessons, or volunteering as a Catechism teacher at her local church. Her nieces, nephews and godchildren adored her, and she will be missed beyond measure.
She is survived by her loving daughter, Stephanie Spaziano; her son-in-law, Joseph Brucas III; her sister, Helen O'Donnell; and her cherished grandson, Jack Brucas. She was the sister of the late Celestino Mirarchi and the sister-in-law to the late George O'Donnell.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 8:45 a.m. in St. Anthony Church, 1413 Mineral Spring Ave., North Providence, RI. Seating will be limited so a Celebration of Mrs. Spaziano's Life will be celebrated in the spring. Burial in Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery will be private and visitation is respectfully omitted. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to: Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.