GLOUCESTER, Mass. — Barbara P. Bradstreet, 79, died at home with her family by her side on Dec. 24.

Born in Biddeford, she was a daughter of Ralph and Marie M. Pillsbury of Arundel, and grew up on the family farm in rural Maine.

She excelled in school, beginning in a one-room school house, later graduating from Thornton Academy in Saco. She went on to attend the University of Maine at Orono where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Following her college graduation, Bradstreet began her teaching career in the public school systems of Pittsburg and Groveton, N.H. After moving to Massachusetts, she taught home economics in the Gloucester public school system for 25 years, rising to department head and starting a nursery school program at the Fuller School.

A lifelong learner, Bradstreet earned a Master of Science degree from Simmons College and was taking doctoral courses at Walden University before her health declined.

She had many diverse interests including clothing design and construction, horseback riding, cooking, swimming, knitting, decorative painting and travel.

She opened her home to international exchange students from Germany and Spain. During retirement, she and her husband Paul sponsored a family from Poland, who lived with them while they settled in the United States. She also worked with the Guiding Eyes for the Blind program that trains guide dogs to work with people who have visual impairments.

Bradstreet had a strong interest in genealogical research and in 2000, she served on the committee that organized an event and family reunion commemorating Anne Bradstreet, America’s earliest poet.

She was a member of the Orthodox Congregational Church of Lanesville in Gloucester, Mass., and the First Parish Church of Yarmouth.

She was predeceased by her brother, Robert M. Pillsbury of Kennebunk.

Bradstreet is survived by her husband of 54 years, Paul E. Bradstreet; twin daughters and their husbands, Paula and Elwin Richter of Rockport, Mass., and Pamela and Charles Lazarakis of South Hamilton, Mass.; sister Christina P. Weiss of Quinebaug, Conn.; sister and brother-in-laws, Dorothy Gil Gilpatrick of Fairfield, and Barbara R. Pillsbury of Lyman; several nieces and nephews; and family friends June Bodoni and Joanne MacInnis.

A memorial service will be held on Jan. 7 at 11 a.m. at the Orthodox Congregational Church of Lanesville, 1120 Washington St., Gloucester, Mass. Burial will take place in the Riverside Cemetery in Yarmouth at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to: The Orthodox Congregational Church of Lanesville, 1120 Washington St., Gloucester, Mass or to the giver’s preferred charity.