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Barbara Ann (Gordon) Colleary

December 29, 1929 ~ February 18, 2017 (age 87)
Barbara Ann Colleary (nee Gordon) was born in Boston on December 26, 1929. She passed out of this life on February 18, 2017. Barbara married James Colleary on February 14, 1953 in Massachusetts. Barbara and Jim had eight daughters in a nine- year proximity. Barbara’s greatest joys in life were her daughters and their families and her work in the culinary world. She is survived by her husband James Colleary and her daughters: Kathleen Colleary, Ann (Louie) Rodarte, Maureen (Jeff) Zimmerman, Theresa (Fran Ford) Roberts, Patricia Spencer, Ellen (Phil) Abbadessa, Barbara (Phillip) McCreary and Joan (Larry) Cedrone; 20 grandchildren: Eric Rodarte, Tracy Caddell (Jeremy), Michael Rodarte, Reiley Rodarte, James Zimmerman, Emma (Brian) Shell, Moriah (Scott) Rees, Samuel Zimmerman, Camille Zimmerman, Tiffany Roberts, Lauren Roberts, Kenny Sundlof, Evan Spencer, Sean Spencer, Ellie Ann Abbadessa, AJ Abbadessa, Libby McCreary, Robert McCreary, Christina McCreary, and Caroline Cedrone; four great grandchildren: Gunner Rodarte, Abbigal and Aubri Caddell, and Fitzgerald Shell. Barbara was one of eight children born to William and Anna Gordon in Milton, Massachusetts. She is survived by three siblings: Dick (Bev) Gordon, Bill Gordon and Joan King. Preceding her in death were her siblings Claire Fitzpatrick, Arthur Gordon, Millie Cusimano, and Mary Clerk. In 1967, Jim and Barbara moved their family to Tempe, Arizona, where they resided for 50 years. Their eight children went to Meyer, McKemy, and McClintock schools. Barbara was a parishioner at Mt Carmel and at Holy Spirit Catholic Churches in Tempe. Barbara was the Director of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) in the state of Arizona. One of her greatest joys was watching culinary students compete for and be awarded significant scholarships to continue their education post high school. She was an active member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals through which she spearheaded the Kids in the Kitchen Apple Pie Project. She received many awards for her involvement in culinary education including being inducted into both the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame and Les Dames D'Escoffier. She was honored in 2016 with the C-CAP Founders Award and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scottsdale Culinary Festival in 2002. Barbara had the opportunity to work with many chefs around the valley and the country to help a new generation of students receive culinary education. She was the food stylist for Desert Treasures Junior League of Phoenix cookbook. She amassed a significant cookbook collection, many signed by great chefs. She hosted many of these chefs in her home when they came to town for workshops. Barbara was a volunteer at the Hackett House in Tempe. Along with a group of Tempeans, she brought culinary education to children via the Passport to the World Program. Barbara and Jim were known for their annual St. Patrick’s Day Party, celebrating their Boston Irish heritage with green beer, corn beef and cabbage, trifle, and chocolate potato cake. In recent years, Barbara’s life was impacted by her protracted battle with Parkinson’s Disease, which limited her direct involvement in the things she held dear, but her heart remained interested and she would brighten up when hearing about a former C-CAP student or seeing a picture of her grand- or great grand children. A funeral mass will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1800 E. Libra Dr., Tempe, AZ 85283 on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 10:30 am. A private family burial will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to the Barbara A. Colleary Careers through Culinary Arts Programs (C-CAP) Scholarship: 4948 W Buckskin Trail, Phoenix, AZ 85083, or through the C-CAP national website: Richardson Funeral Home, Tempe, Arizona is compassionately serving the family.

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