Barbara Gowdy Tongue

SWAN’S ISLAND – Barbara Gowdy Tongue passed away peacefully in her home Dec. 7, 2020. Born March 9, 1933 in Hartford, Conn. to Jane Faltin Gowdy and Richard Parsons Gowdy, Barbara grew up in the West Hartford area with her parents, brother David, and dog Inky.

She was a graduate of the Oxford School, Colby Junior College (now Colby Sawyer), and Katharine Gibbs School. She married Thomas T. Tongue of Baltimore, Md. in 1959, and they started their family at Avon Old Farms where Tom taught and coached.

With Ben and Katie in tow, they moved to Oklahoma City in 1964 to join Casady School at the behest of headmaster Robert Woolsey. A two-year adventure turned into 30 years of service to the school, Tom in administration and Barbara managing the alter guild at St. Edwards, volunteering at Casady and at the Cowboy Hall of Fame museum, and working with the Junior League. Barbara and Tom were fixtures on the sidelines with their springers Blazer, Nova, and Holly as well as at hitching posts across the state with Coach and Niki.

In 1967, her father welcomed Jessie White into the family along with Jack, Jane, and a trove of new cousins. Barbara and the family traveled east every summer, visiting friends and family on their way to Swan’s Island where Barbara eventually settled after Tom’s death in 1995. In those later years, she enjoyed the warmer months on the Island before “traveling south” to winter with friends and neighbors in her adopted Yarmouth.

“Darlin” delighted in her grandchildren, prepared meticulously for their summer visits, and braved trips to Alaska in the depth of winter to be with them. Elegant, gracious, and always the last out the door, Barbara loved to garden, walk, spend time with family, and host friends and neighbors, especially the Casady Family.

She was much loved as a mother, wife, grandmother, and friend and leaves her brother, David and his partner Elizabeth, sisters-in-law, Frances, Janney, and Judy; her son, Benjamin, her daughter, Katharine and her husband Dr. John Bramante; granddaughters Juliet, Elena Macrae, and Katharine; much loved nephews and cousins and their families; and goddaughter, Betsy.

Burial will take place this coming summer on Swan’s Island.

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In lieu of flowers,

memorials may be made to

Casady School, the

Swan’s Island Library, or the charity of one’s choice.

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