Barbara J. Chiappisi (Norris), 91, a long-time resident of Needham, passed away peacefully at home on January 31st with her family by her side. Born in Revere as the 11th of 12 children, Barbara was the daughter of the late John M. Norris and Irene T. (Morrison). A former resident of Winthrop, Barbara graduated from Aviation Training School, intending to pursue a career as an airline stewardess. She also attended Bryant and Stratton Business School, and worked at Shell Oil before starting a family.
Barbara had many interests and hobbies throughout her life, including skiing, horseback riding, playing the piano, writing poetry, oil painting, cooking, entertaining, ballroom dancing and spending time with her family. She was immensely creative, and had an incredible way with words, frequently penning odes and tributes about people close to her. These literary gems were masterfully crafted, always with her signature touch of humor, and became infamous to all who knew her. Several of her poems and written works were published in the Needham Times and Boston Globe over the years.
Later in life, Barbara became a die-hard New England sports fan and was also an active member of the “Ten-o’Clock Rollers” ladies bowling league for 35 years. Barbara was a woman of strong faith, character, conviction and values. She had a great sense of humor, which was rather renowned. Barbara had an especially warm and generous spirit, and was passionate about many philanthropic causes. Family was of paramount importance to Barbara, and she cherished hers dearly. She truly practiced the virtues that she preached, perfectly exemplified by her usual toast at every meal, which always concluded with the words “Peace, Love and Joy”.
Beloved wife of the late Arthur R. Chiappisi, Sr. and mother of four beloved children; Debra J. Deacutis and her husband, James, of Warren, Gail M. Nannini and her husband, Anthony, of Needham and Susan I. Chiappisi of Boston, and the late Arthur R. Chiappisi, Jr. of Needham. She also leaves behind her three granddaughters; Juliane (Deacutis) Graham and her husband, Robert, of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Adriana Nannini of Crozet, Virginia, and Carla Nannini of Needham, all three of whom affectionately referred to her as “Grammy”. Great-grandmother to Ayleigh and Zachary Graham of Aberdeenshire. Also survived by beloved sister Irene Johnson of Ogunquit, Maine and many nieces and nephews.
A private family service is planned at Saint Bartholomew’s Parish in Needham, with a celebration of life memorial to be determined at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Good Shepherd Hospice Care in Newton.
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