Barbara Preli, a long-time resident of the Hartford, CT area and later of Greensburg, PA, departed this life on July 4, 2023. She recently celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends. Barbara was a beloved mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, aunt, and friend.
Barbara was born in Hartford, CT on May 24, 1923, to Ralph and Josephine (Tracy) Elovich. She was a graduate of Weaver High School (class of 1941) and later worked at the Bidwell Hardware Company and The Hartford Insurance Company.
Barbara was a proud veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1943, after her two brothers joined the Army Air Corps and Merchant Marines, respectively, Barbara was motivated to help the war effort. She and her best friend joined the U.S. Marine Corps, were sent to Camp LeJeune for boot camp, and were later stationed at Cherry Point. After the war, Barbara returned to Connecticut to pursue work in bookkeeping and accounting.
Barbara was devoted to and proud of her children and grandchildren, rarely missing their sports games, plays, concerts, and recitals. When her children were growing up she was a Girl Scout leader, Sunday School teacher, and active member of the PTA.
After taking a Wilton cake-decorating class, many people benefited from her experience. She became known as the “cake lady” in the neighborhood, at work, and in volunteer organizations, as she made cakes to celebrate all occasions, including her ever-popular cheesecake and bourbon cake.
Even in retirement, Barbara was busy. Her volunteer repertoire included work at The Old State House (Hartford, CT), the Huguenot House (E. Hartford), Habitat for Humanity, Greensburg-Hempfield Library, United Methodist Women, the League of Women Voters, and one of her favorites: the YWCA Thrift Shop. She was also active in the Women Marines Association (Nutmeg Chapter) and enjoyed traveling to annual conventions.
Barbara was predeceased by her parents, her brothers James and William, and her daughter Lorraine.
She is survived by children Tracy (Malcolm Stewart) Barrack, Francis (Jennifer Hutt), and Diana (Steven) Lammert, grandchildren Daniel, David, Sarah, and Joshua, and step-grandchildren Brendan and Tyler. She will be greatly missed by family and friends.
The family would like to thank the staff of Newhaven Court and Bridges Hospice for their compassionate care.
A memorial service honoring Barbara’s life will take place on Saturday, July 8 at 11:00 a.m. at Otterbein Methodist Church, 111 College Avenue, Greensburg, PA.
Interment will take place at the State of Connecticut Veterans Cemetery, Middletown, CT, at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Barbara’s memory may be made to the Memorial Scholarship Fund of the Women Marines Association (https://www.womenmarines.org/donate/), the Westmoreland County Humane Society, or Otterbein Methodist Church.