“A lover of music, art, and nature”
Barbara J. Zaino, age 92 years, formerly of Wilmington, died peacefully at the Arnold House Nursing Home in Stoneham on February 14th, where she had been a resident since July of 2014.
Mrs. Zaino was born on Sunday, November 9, 1924, in Winchester, the daughter of the late Harold J. Slack and the late Grace Teresa (Charnley) Slack. Born and raised in Winchester, she was one of seven children. As a young teenager, Mrs. Zaino enjoyed horseback riding, ballet dancing, and playing the piano and guitar. In her late teens she decided to get a job at the Boston Navy Yard during WW2. It was there she met her future husband, Arthur, who was working as a sheet metal worker. The two married in 1943, lived in Winchester for several years and then, with three young children, purchased land in Wilmington and together built the home of their dreams, while raising their first three children to adulthood, and before having three more.
In the mid to late 1950’s, Mrs. Zaino worked as an animal technician at the then named Charles River Breeding Labs on Ballardvale Street in North Wilmington and later as a floral designer and wild flower gardener at Arthur Allgrove’s Nursery in North Wilmington. Also in the mid to late 1950’s, Mrs. Zaino volunteered her time as a den mother for the local Scout Troop 56.
As an amateur musician and lover of music and song her entire life, Barbara enjoyed writing sheet music for the piano, guitar, and dulcimer and in 1991 she published a book of original songs for the Mountain Dulcimer. She also enjoyed writing poetry, oil painting and drawing with charcoal. She was a long-time member of the Merrimack Valley Chapter of Sweet Adeline’s, an international organization of women devoted to the unique American art of singing four-part harmony in the barbershop style.
As an adventurist who always loved the serenity and beauty of a fresh New England snow fall, Barbara and her husband, Arthur, were avid cross-country skiers for many years. Never too late to take on a new challenge, Barbara, already in her early 50’s, expanded her love of skiing to downhill skiing, along with her three younger children. She and Arthur also challenged themselves to learn how to hike on snowshoes, which provided another way of getting their exercise while enjoying the benefits of fresh air and sunshine. Also, always looking for new activities to keep themselves busy, the couple enrolled in ballroom and square dancing lessons and occasionally enjoyed participating in local competitions for both styles of dance. When time permitted, they also travelled throughout the New England area attending Elder Hostel workshops and seminars.
In the early 1970’s, she and Arthur purchased 10 acres of land on the side of a hill in Freedom, NH, and built what would today be called a ‘tiny house’ that for many years, served as a quiet vacation and week-end get-away. Later in life, she and her husband volunteered much of their time to various community sponsored programs as well as to various functions at the Wilmington Senior Citizen Center. Sometime in the 1990’s, Mr. and Mrs. Zaino donated their pump organ to the Harnden Tavern and it remains a source of enjoyment for many who visit the tavern.
Mrs. Zaino is survived by her 6 children, Arthur Zaino and his wife Judith of Bradford, David Zaino and his wife Cheryl of East Kingston, NH, Cheryl Marr of Atkinson, NH, Barbara Callahan and her husband Kevin of Wilmington, John Zaino and his wife Teresa of Londonderry, NH and Jay Zaino and his wife Michele of Pelham, NH. While several brothers and one sister predeceased Mrs. Zaino, she leaves one brother, Charles of California, 17 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. Mrs. Zaino was predeceased by her husband, Arthur, and her son-in-law, Owen Marr of Atkinson, NH.
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington for a Celebration of Barbara’s life on Wednesday, February 22nd at 11:30 a.m. Interment will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting Hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Tuesday, February 21st from 4:00-8:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers donations in Barbara’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472.