Barbara A. Lankow died Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, surrounded by family. She was 79.

The youngest child of Francis and Margaret Small, Barbara was born in 1934 at Doctor’s Hospital in New York city, and growing up on Long Island, she lived in Great Neck and Manhasset. She graduated from high school there in 1952. After attending Adelphi and Hofstra Colleges, she was employed by several retail department stores on the Miracle Mile in Manhasset, before accepting an administrative position working for a superintendent of schools in Great Neck.

Married in December of 1963 to Richard A. Lankow, whom she met at the Atlantic Beach Club on Long Island, they initially resided in Forest Hills, N.Y., before relocating to New Canaan, Conn., where she lived for the next 25 years, raising their three children. Subsequently, as the children grew, she was employed by the New Canaan Board of Education for 12 years in a variety of positions retiring in 1988 as administrative assistant to an assistant superintendent there. Since the early 1980s she summered and in 1988 became an extended seasonal resident of Edgartown, relishing her home by the sea on Martha’s Vineyard. Only recently, she had relocated to the Village of Quisset within the town of Falmouth. In 1995 she moved for the winter months to the Billows, a co-operative in Naples, Fla., living again by the water on the Gulf of Mexico.

An extraordinary woman by every measure, she possessed an infectious smile which paved her way for remarkable friendships that endured for lifetimes. Compassionate, with a zest for life, her interests were extensive, varied and genuine, with an abiding love for the beach and the sea. She looked forward to and was rewarded by frequent visits from her children and grandchildren, all of whom she adored which allowed for a complete life.

She was predeceased by her brother, Frank, and is survived by a sister, Adele, as well as her husband of nearly 51 years, Richard. Also surviving are her three children, Tracy, Pamela and Douglas and six grandchildren, all of the Boston area.

A memorial service was held Dec. 5 at the Church of the Messiah in Woods Hole, followed by a small reception to celebrate a life well-lived preceding a private family inurnment.

Contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be made to Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation, denoting either Falmouth Hospital or VNA Hospice.