Barbara J. Stahl 1930-2004
Condolences from Friends, Colleagues and Former Students
From The Boston Globe
Dear David & the Stahl Family,
I wish to express my sorrow for your great loss and want you all to know that Barbara will be missed by everyone she met. The lives she touched were numerous. The Dr. Barbara J. Stahl experience was eye-opening, heart-warming and enlightening to all the fortunate souls who had the distinct pleasure of her presence. Her contributions to students' lives and the community were paramount to their success and qualities as a human being. Her inspriation and enthusiasm for the arts and her students are unsurpassed. She has touched my life and so many of my colleagues. She will be missed by all who encountered the Dr. Barbara J. Stahl experience.
Dr. Kevin Petka (Punta Gorda, FL )
January 26, 2004
Dear Dr David Stahl and Family,
I attended many lectures by Dr Stahl for the St. Anselm Humanities program. She is a remarkable woman and my deepest sympathies on your loss.
Paul Adams class of '93 (Plymouth, MA )
January 23, 2004
Barbara was beautiful. She pursued endlessly her passions: scientific research, family, need to discover the world, and all the time reaching out to those willing to share her knowledge.
She was a perfect advocate for the Arts and for the profound meaning of Life.
It is a priviledge to have known her. I will treasure her memory.
evelyne crochet (new york, NY )
January 21, 2004
very sorry forthe died of Barbara
she was vry interesting and very interested to everything
happy that she has not suffered
ANTOINE VAN DER WERF (BRUSSELS)
January 19, 2004
You and Barbara have been so much a part of NEAAHP's life and history that we are all suffering a great loss. Personally, as you know, Barbara and you have not only been colleagues and associates that we see at meetings, but so much more. You have been friends that walked on the same road so many times we have lost count, sharing stories of our families, our work, our interests and our social values and simply enjoying each other's presence. Thank you so much for all you have been all these years. Words about Barbara seem so inadequate right now and yet they are all we have. She lived her life with such gentleness, kindness, compassion, passion and feeling and she did it with such class and dignity. To say that she enriched our lives is an understatement to be sure. She was, in fact, pure gift to each one of us and one that we are all so grateful for. To paraphrase the Weston Priory hymn - "People come into our lives and become part of the fiber and fabric and even though they fade into the shadows, they forever remain part of the grand design." Barbara will truly be a bright and beautiful part of all of our grand designs. Take care.
Paul Hines (Danbury, CT )
January 17, 2004
Dear David, please accept Joan's and my sincerest sympathies on the loss of your beloved Barbara - wife, mother, grandmother and advocate for her pre-health students over these many years. It was a real privilege and pleasure to have known her so well through our mutual involvement in NEAAHP. The list and significance of her contributions to NEAAHP would be exceedingly long, and would carry with it so many fond memories - her championship of NEAAHP, the meticulous preciseness of her work as treasurer, her annual request (with a smile) to return the plastic name tag holders (she kept NEAAHP 'afloat' on minimal funds) and that wonderful year she announced (with an especially big smile) "you don't have to return the name tag holders!" and yes, even some indignation at times with some of the health professions procedures. She had remarkable strength and determination. She wrote me about her illness, and yet immediately explained all of the work she had to get done - finishing some writing and other things. Of course, would we expect anything less from Barbara? - absolutely not - no loose ends or things left udone. She will be remembered by many, and very fondly so. Sincerely, Brad
Brad Bowden (Alfred, NY )
January 17, 2004
From the Saint Anselm College
Dawn (Connell) Braswell '92
Meekly meeting her for the first time as a squeaky new freshman to find out if
Biology majors could spend a semester abroad. Her face lit up and told me several
reasons why I must go...A group of us going to her house for tea, listening to stories
and strolling through the backyard...Telling me after one lab that she would not
recommend me to dissect an elephant, and I quite agreed with her... Not a fan of
Grease but going to the Abbey Players production because one of our classmates was in it.
She mentioned him fondly still, two weeks before she died. He couldn't dissect an elephant
either... Appalled at my handwriting but pleased that I wrote my essays right to the point
without going on and on. So I'll stop with my last memories...in her house, dancing
with my newborn, while Dr. David Stahl played lullabies on his piano. She had the quality
of bringing out the best in us. I will miss her very much.
Bill Kearns '61
While drawing on the blackboard, she said: "take a woman like me and a
man like any one of you"...........and without even turning to look at us...."that
will be quite enough Mr. Williams."
Raymond L. Chaput, PhD, Capt USN (ret.) '62
Babara Stahl was without a doubt the most dynamic, insightful, demanding, and enthusiastic teacher I had.
By her fervor and excitement for the mysteries of biology and her ability to impart those feelings to me,
I began a career in and excitement for the biological sciences that still continues today.
When I retired from the Navy, having directed the Navy's Biomedical Research programs, I had
her to thank for setting me on what has been a most rewarding experience and career. And little did she
know that she would also contribute to my second career as deacon in the Catholic Church here in the Archdiocese of Washington.
It began after a lab period when we were looking at chick embryos and observing their beating hearts.
I was one of the last to leave and noted she was looking at the preparation. She commented that this beating
heart reveals the beauty of life and she just wanted to observe it for a few more minutes. I joined her and we
both marveled at God's creation. When asked how long I had considered the deaconate, I point to that pivotal moment.
Dr. Joseph Pavano, III, '83
Dr. Stahl spoke personally on my behalf with Dr. Hymen Kamens, dean of the New England College of
Optometry in Boston. Days later I was granted an interview... My most memorable moment at the interview
was when the interviewing dean stated; "If Barbara likes you then the New England College of Optometry
likes you... welcome aboard!" ... Thank you Dr. Stahl and God Bless!
Patrick Scollin, EdD, '68
Dr. Stahl was the only person I ever met who could talk about the World Series five levels over the
heads of the students. She was one of the most brilliant people I ever had the privilege to study under.
Joseph Grzymkowski '60
During 1959 and 1960 I was a lab proctor for Professor "Doc" Lawrence. While setting up a lab practical
test for one of "Doc's" freshman classes, I was experiencing a small problem in positioning some pins on
the frog specimens -- formaldehyde and I never were on the same page. It was early in the morning and
Professor Lawrence had not yet arrived in the lab. Dr. Stahl graciously assisted me and never mentioned
a word to Professor Lawrence. He told me pin placements were precise. I thanked her later and she just said,
We all work together. Teamwork took on a new meaning for me.
Sean Horrigan '01
I remember the spring of my senior year, when my fellow classmates and I had accomplished an
exceptional achievement. Every student that applied to a medical or dental school, or a science
graduate study program, had received a letter of acceptance that year. Dr. Stahl was so proud of
us that she posted a notice of our accomplishments outside her anatomy lab in Goulet Science Center.
Al Gruner '65
I remember how demanding she was. The first semester, I worked hard and had a grade average
of 79. She cut me no slack and gave me a "C". The next semester, I worked really hard and had a
grade average of 89, and she gave me a "B". I later came to understand that she treated everyone
in exactly the same way. Simply put, she was the finest professor of my lifetime. Thank God that my life crossed hers.
Having lost my beloved wife of almost 35 years this past May, I think I know the pain of Dr. Stahl's family.
But what I know for certain that she, like my wife, IS a great lady.
Jerry McCarthy '59
I was Barbara Stahl's lab assistant in 1957-58. She was a fantastic teacher, and the experience of
being her lab assistant was a great learning experience for me. Many times over my next
43 years of teaching biology, I would think back to those days on the top floor labs in the main
building and all that I had experienced working with Barbara Stahl. St. Anselm's was indeed very
blessed to have had Barbara Stahl as a professor for so many years. I still think of her often.
Faculty Secretary, Biology
Having worked as Dr. Stahl's secretary for 15 years, I welcome the opportunity to comment on
our relationship over those years. Mutual respect comes to mind immediately. I admired her
as a professor but more importantly as a person. I miss her.
Customer Service Manager, Information Technology
On or about 2002, Dr. Stahl came to see us in Information Technology due to several problems that
she was having with her iMac computer and accessing Microsoft Outlook. I was struck by her
knowledge of computing and her great patience and graciousness as we worked to help her over several days.
Lecturer, Modern Languages and Literature
I would just like to say that every time I spoke with Barbara her positive attitude lifted my spirits. We did
not speak much about her scholarship or classes. Just to show how down to earth Barbara was, we spoke
about our families. She always had good advice on raising children and many times spoke about her own
children with much warmth and affection. I shall never forget such a lovely person. She was and still is a
Shailagh Kennedy '05
Although I only had Dr. Stahl for class a handful of times, I shall never forget the amazing presence she
had in the classroom. Not only could she generate lively discussion amongst a group of sleepy students
almost instantaneously, but she amazed them with the depth of her knowledge on so many subjects.
While all that came into contact with her appreciated her, it was so clear that she too respected, appreciated
and loved her students. Dr. Stahl did not just educate others about humanities and portraits of human
greatness, she inspired greatness in all of her students and I shall never forget her.
Patrick Romano '01
Professor Stahl made profound impact not only on my academic studies but also in everyday life.
Her hard work and love of what she did brought energy to her students which made being a student
challenging and enjoyable. Above all, Dr. Stahl helped develop a strong work ethic into my everyday
life and allowed myself to challenge my limits. For those reasons Dr. Stahl will have a lasting influence in my life.
Daniel Brennan, DMD '64
I remember Mrs. Stahl quite well, although I haven't seen her since I graduated. I remember her as
being very demanding and thorough, but she cared very much for every student. I suspect she had a
great deal to do with my being accepted to dental school. I will continue to think of her often and be
very grateful for the help she gave me and countless other students who were fortunate enough to
have her for a teacher and mentor. I can think of no other teacher in my life who had a greater impact.
Joshua Aiello '05
I remember a lecture Professor Stahl gave in Humanities. Her tone and excitement during her lecture
emphasized her passion for teaching. The fact that she never quit, even when she was sick, is an inspiration to us all!
Kenny Okonis '88
Dr. Stahl wrote the best recommendation letter that helped get me into the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Professor and Chair, Fine Arts and Music
I always admired Barbara's brilliance, her honesty and forthrightness, as well as her devotion to teaching.
She contributed much to her field of biology and to St. Anselm College in her many years here. She was
also a devotee and true patron of the arts. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with her.
Assistant to the Dean of the College
I spoke with Dr. Stahl two days before she passed away. She had come to my office and told me
that this would be her last visit to the campus. We chatted a bit and I commented on how much
she had given to the College and to everyone she taught. She said to me, "All that I have given,
I have gotten back". I thought how wonderful it was to have felt that way about her life.
Faculty Secretary, Nursing Department
I will always be grateful for the advice Dr. Stahl gave my son while attending Saint Anselm College.
She always took whatever time a student needed for guidance. He is presently in a PhD program
at Harvard Medical School, where I am certain Dr. Stahl had some input into his acceptance in the program.
She was a remarkable woman and her presence on the campus will be missed.
Dawn (Connell) Braswell '92
Meekly meeting her for the first time as a squeaky new freshman to find out if Biology majors
could spend a semester abroad. Her face lit up and told me several reasons why I must go...
A group of us going to her house for tea, listening to stories and strolling through the backyard...
Telling me after one lab that she would not recommend me to dissect an elephant, and I quite
agreed with her... Not a fan of Grease but going to the Abbey Players production because one
of our classmates was in it. She mentioned him fondly still, two weeks before she died. He
couldn't dissect an elephant either... Appalled at my handwriting but pleased that I wrote my
essays right to the point without going on and on. So I'll stop with my last memories...in her
house, dancing with my newborn, while Dr. David Stahl played lullabies on his piano. She had
the quality of bringing out the best in us. I will miss her very much.
Bill Kearns '61
While drawing on the blackboard, she said: "take a woman like me and a man like any one
of you"...........and without even turning to look at us...."that will be quite enough Mr. Williams."
I remain anonymous for reasons being self evident in the text that follows. It was the basketball season of 1996,
and I was cruising through the sophomore year majoring in Sophomoric Behavior 101. Four parties,
who shall go nameless, were sitting around one of the spacious rooms in our beloved Dominic Hall where a
brilliant plan was conceived. A chicken shall be caught. The said chicken will be released during a basketball game.
Releasers heralded as champions. Not before running away and hiding, praying they would not be
expelled nor thrown in OCTA. Even though said parties conceived and carried out plan stone sober. No chicken could
be acquired so a rooster took its place. The big night of the game arrived. Getting a rooster into a book bag,
hard. Getting a rooster through security at a basketball game, very hard. Chickening out of trying to get rooster
into the game and deciding on a library full of kids studying, not as hard. Releasing the rooster, priceless.
Mayhem ensued and the rooster was caught. This is where Dr. Stahl comes into the story. The rooster was
brought under her care and its stuff was studied by her classes with delight. They were the only ones beside
us that knew Fruit Loops were on the rooster's menu. I was never much of a scientist, but my friends in her class
said she smiled every time she looked at our rooster. Eventually she let the rooster go on a local farm. I like to think
that Dr. Stahl is in heaven learning all the wonders of life from the Master. All the while our little rooster is keeping
her company. Thank you for a wonderful time at Saint Anselm College. May you have Peace with God. Cock-a-doodle-doo!