Barbara L. (Ward) Cranley

  • Born: July 15, 1928
  • Died: April 22, 2021
  • Location: Melrose, Massachusetts

Robinson Funeral Home

809 Main Street
Melrose, MA 02176

mail@robinsonfuneralhome.com
Tel. (781) 665-1900

Tribute & Message From The Family


Loving, caring, beautiful on the inside and out. These are the words that best describe Barbara L. (Ward) Cranley, of Melrose, who sadly died on Thursday, April 22, 2021 with her family by her side, with the grace and elegance she always possessed, at High Pointe House in Haverhill. She was 92.

Born on July 15, 1928 in Wilton New Hampshire, Barbara is one of three children of the late Donald and Marsha (McCalvey) Ward. She grew up in Somerville and graduated from Boston University with a bachelor's degree. While there she had the opportunity to meet Eleanor Roosevelt when she was speaking at Boston University during the war.

Close with her father, Barbara spent a lot of time with him at the family business, Ward's Gifts in Medford Square. She eventually took over the helm of the family business, something she truly enjoyed, and she put her heart into it. Her kindness and thoughtful manner provided for many happy customers. It allowed for her to travel abroad in search of interesting items to be sold. One of her favorite trips was with her father for a business trip to the Orient. Barbara also enjoyed traveling internationally with her sisters, Pauline and Marsha.

While her business was of the upmost importance to her, working until she was 88, nothing came before her family. She started raising her family in Cincinnati, Ohio before returning to Massachusetts in 1978. She adored her children and grandchildren and instilled her values in them. Love, kindness, hard work, and the appreciation of simplicity is how she lived and what she taught. It aided her own children into becoming the kind and successful people they are today.
Barbara enjoyed traveling if it was somewhere family was going to be. New Hampshire, Alaska, Nova Scotia, and the Far East were favorites. She was a voracious reader, loved PBS, was quite the bowler in her younger years, loved doing puzzles, crossword puzzles, gardening, and indulging in the occasional ice cream cone.

A life that revolved around children, grandchildren, and family, Barbara's warm, generous, and forgiving heart will be missed by all that were fortunate enough to have known her.

Barbara is the beloved mother of Donald Cranley and his husband James Dwaileebe of Melrose, William Cranley and his husband David Mignault of West Newbury, and Susan Mitrano and her husband Michael of Manchester-by-the-Sea. Loving sister of Marsha Dolan and her late husband John of Hull, and Pauline Ansel and her late husband Arnold of Peabody. Cherished grandmother of Paul and Alec Dwaileebe, and Julia, Olivia, Avabella, and Bissy Mitrano.

Relatives and friends are invited to visiting hours at Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Tuesday, April 27 from 5-8pm. All attendees are required to wear masks, maintain social distancing, pay their respects, and exit the Funeral Home promptly to allow other guests to enter. A limited number of guests will be allowed in the building at one time. Interment at Vale End Cemetery, Wilton, NH.