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Barbara H. Leader

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“So sorry to hear of Barbara's passing. May the family find strength from Almighty God during this difficult time.BP. ”
1 of 9 | Posted by: A friend

“Dear Bev, What can I say that has not already been said about your mom? She was an amazing, caring woman? Given the fact I met her when I was in 7th...Read More »
2 of 9 | Posted by: Nan Fellows - Westminster, MA

“Barbara was a great woman!!! I knew her mainly through Ralph as we worked together to launch the Needham Education Foundation. Through their...Read More »
3 of 9 | Posted by: Fred Tirrell - Barnstable, MA

“We were growing girls when Barbara and Ralph moved into the house next door to us. Before long, Christine joined them. What good neighbors they...Read More »
4 of 9 | Posted by: Carol and Sally Wallace - Malden, MA

“Bev,So sorry to hear about your Mother!Sounds like she lived a long, good life.Take care. Keep in touch.Love,GIGI and MickeyPlanet Graphics ”
5 of 9 | Posted by: - MA

“Bev and ChrisOn behalf of all of us at the Newton Wellesley Center for Alzheimer's Care we share your loss deeply. Your mother was a wonderful and...Read More »
6 of 9 | Posted by: Jim Divver - Wellesley, MA

“Good bye to one sweet lady. She will be fondly remembered. Betty ”
7 of 9 | Posted by: Betty Lee - Neighbor

“Beverly & Chris, our sincere sympathy to you and your family. Your mother was a very kind and gracious woman. I recall fondly she was my Girl Scout...Read More »
8 of 9 | Posted by: Nancy Curtin Gerstel - Medfield, MA

“Barbara and Ralph were close friends of my parents (Jack and "Izzy" Wood), since childhood, and remained so throughout their lives. They were at my...Read More »
9 of 9 | Posted by: Beth Wood - Family Friend


Barbara H. Leader, a lifelong resident of Needham, died on February 9, 2018 at the age of 96. She was the only child of George H. and Beatrice T. Hopkins (deceased). For 56 years she was the loving wife of Ralph E. Leader, her high school sweetheart, a wonderful husband and father, and a Maj. General in the USAF who predeceased her in 1999. Together they were instrumental in the 1990 founding of the Needham Education Foundation, Inc.

Barbara was a graduate of Needham High School, Class of 1939. She attended Beaver College in Jenkintown, PA. and the Chandler Secretarial School in Boston. Through the years, her employers included the Needham National Bank, Needham Town Hall, Gamewell Corporation, the Charles River School and Taylor's Stationery. She was active in Needham Girl Scouts and the Needham Congregational Church.

Barbara always had a sunny and sincere personality. With her beautiful smile and caring ways she counted many people as friends, from long time schoolmates to casual acquaintances in the supermarket. She was particularly admired for her friendliness by the members of the MA 102nd Fighter Squadron as she often was with her husband during his role as Commander of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Together they attended many military functions and travel widely in the United States and Europe. In 1962 they struck up a wonderful friendship with a French family in the region near Strasbourg, France which their relatives still enjoy.

Barbara was a wonderful, caring mother, always engaged with her children's and grandchildren's friends and activities. She loved reading, dancing, sporting events, walking around the High School track into her late 80's, and summer weekends roughing it with family and friends on Black Rock Island.

She will be greatly missed by her two daughters, Beverly Wye Leader and Christine Leader Hoffmeister, and her husband George, all of Needham. She was a loving grandmother to Erica Supple and her husband David, Gregory Hoffmeister and his wife Michelle, all of Needham, and Casey Palmer and her husband Ross, of Walpole. Her beloved great grandchildren are Delaney Supple, Ryan Supple, Julie Hoffmeister, Ellie Hoffmeister, Jessie Hoffmeister, Tate Hoffmeister, and Charlotte Palmer.

Barbara's family thanks the staff and care givers at the Newton Wellesley Center for Alzheimer's Care who took such good and loving care of Barbara during the last 5 years of her life.

Visiting hours Thursday, February 15, at Eaton Funeral Home Inc., 1351 Highland Ave., Needham, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., concluding with a celebration of Barbara's life.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Needham Education Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 920145, Needham, MA 02492.