Barbara McChesney Was Social Worker at Hospital

Barbara McChesney of Vineyard Haven died at home on Dec. 3 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Her will to live actively despite her illness and her love of life enabled her to far surpass the forecasts that were put forth when her condition was first diagnosed.

She was born in Syracuse, N.Y., but grew up and spent most of her adult years in Ithaca, N.Y. She was a graduate of the Emma Willard School in Troy, N.Y., an honors graduate of Ithaca College and received a master's degree in social work from Syracuse University. She worked as a social worker in the Ithaca school system for many years before establishing a private family practice.

Barbara's relationship with the Vineyard began in the 1960s when she and her family spent summer vacations on the Island while visiting her late father in law, William McChesney of Edgartown, and continued annually until she and her husband, Peter, moved to the Island in 1997. She worked as a social worker at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital and also maintained a private practice fom her Main street residence in Vineyard Haven.

She is survived by her husband, Peter; her children, Lori McChesney of Hayward, Calif., Leslie McChesney of Chico, Calif., Lisa McChesney of syracuse, N.Y.; Chris McChesney of Wellesley, and stepchildren Robin Beckwith of Herndon, Va., and Peter McChesney Jr. of Annapolis, Md., as well as nine grandchildren. Also surviving are her mother, Grace Bryant of Ithaca, and her brother, William Bryant of Trumansburg, N.Y.

Members of her family held a private memorial service on the Island to celebrate her life. Friends are invited to remember her through contributions in her name to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital.