Life Story: Mary Barrood, 94; Matriarch Of Prominent Township Family

On September 7, 2023 Mary Barrood was reunited with the Lord and her husband David. She was 94 years young.

Mary was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania to Peter and Freda Abdalla, who emigrated from Lebanon in the early 1900’s. She was the youngest of eight children. She was an avid reader and writer, and excelled at school, even jumping a grade in middle school. She loved playing sports with her brothers, was an accomplished pianist, and played the organ for St. Ann’s in Scranton. She was a mentor and friend to her many nieces and nephews who continue to call, write, and visit to show their appreciation for her endless support, wisdom, and love over the years. After graduating from nursing school in Atlantic City, she was hired as the head nurse of the ER at Hahnemann Hospital in Scranton where she worked for nine years.

She met David Barrood, the love of her life, at a Maronite Church convention in Asbury Park, married him soon afterward and started a family in Somerset, NJ. They had five children, the other five loves of her life: David (Sonia), Paul (Robyn), Karen (Claude), Louis (Amal) and James. She was very active in their children’s school and social lives, exposing them to all that life had to offer, whether through school, church, sports, music, etc. She and David attended their numerous school, church, and sports events, recitals, and school or community plays. She belonged to the PTA for many years and sometimes substituted in the schools.

Mary was very involved in her husband’s real estate business, becoming a sales person and then a Broker. Together, they were quite a team and built a successful business in Franklin Township for many decades. She joined many organizations and clubs within the community: League of Women Voters, Cedar Wood Women’s Club, St. Matthias Prayer Group, Franklin Township Senior Center, and St. Sharbel’s Ladies Sodality to name a few. Her dream was to earn a degree in English Literature and she did just that, graduating from Douglass College in 1977.

Like her husband David, Mary loved life, was hard working, generous, loving and had a huge heart for those in need. In the 80s while continuing to work in the family business handling the marketing, selling homes, and collecting food, toys and funds for various charities, she also volunteered at the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation hotline educating callers on how to prevent the spread of the disease. She was well educated, well spoken and was a woman ahead of her time fighting for many causes.

Apart from her work, committees, and volunteer work, Mary had numerous passions: Jeopardy, NYT crossword puzzles, of which she was a whiz, reading the newspaper, non fiction and medical books, Scrabble, the theatre, playing tennis (til the age of 91), and sampling and savoring desserts! But her favorite passion was vacationing at the family’s Pocono mountain home for over fifty years, enjoying all seasonal activities; learning to ski and play tennis in her 50’s! This was her Heaven on Earth, her Innisfree.

Mary and David were blessed with a dozen grandchildren: Analis, Nicholas, Christopher, Alexander, André, Brianna, Amandalis, Juliette, Karl, Ryan, Isabelle, and Liam. They brought them much love and happiness, and were always there to celebrate their accomplishments. As they did with their children, Mary and David encouraged their grandkid’s involvement in family, school, church, sports, the fine arts, and of course, the love of their mountain home community.

Mary will be remembered for her endless love for her family, her compassion, determination, and intellect. She will be dearly missed by her family, her adoring nieces and nephews, and her many friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to St. Jude’s or your preferred charity.

Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. September 10 at the Gleason Funeral Home, 1360 Hamilton Street.

Funeral service will be 10 a.m. September 11 at St. Matthias Church, 168 John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

Internment will be in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Route 27 North, North Brunswick.

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