Barbara Shallies Colby

October 23, 1928 ~ August 24, 2020 (age 91)


Barbara Colby, 91, of StoneRidge, Mystic, CT, and formerly of Westerly, RI and Seekonk, MA, passed away in peace on Monday, August 24, 2020 at Avalon Health Care Center. She was the wife of the late Arthur Whitehouse and the late Reverend Alfred Colby. Born in Northbridge, MA on October 23, 1928, she was the daughter of the late Ernest and Anne (Postma) Shallies of Uxbridge, Ma.

Barbara's compassion, spirit, cheerfulness, leadership and intelligence was inspiring, with a life of continuous giving to family and community. Upon graduating as an RN from the NE Deaconess Hospital in 1949, her career, community and civic involvement seemed endless: Columbia Presbyterian (NY) Radiology Nursing Supervisor; Pawtucket Memorial Hospital, Medical/Surgical Nurse; Harvard/Brown University Research Assistant; MA Dept of Public Health Public Health Nurse Certification; Public Health Nurse (VNA) Attleboro and Seekonk, MA. Director of Nursing at Tockwotten (RI); Director of Nurses Cathleen Naughton Assoc (RI). Intertwined throughout her career was a continuous passion for caring and giving: church school teacher, Red Cross Disaster Nurse Chairman, Board of Library Trustees, Executive Board Seekonk Women's Club, Brownie troop leader, volunteer mental health agency (Helpmate), , church fund raisers, community crisis intervention team, and the StoneRidge Retirement Community’s Healthcare Committee. She graduated Roger Williams University with a Social/Health Science degree and earned her School/Nursing Certification from Rhode Island College.

Above all, she held her family and friends to be loved most of all, always there to share life's joys and sorrows, providing inspiration and strength, always ready to listen and hear. A walk on the beach, living room chats helping to solve the world’s problems, girls day out, sharing in healthy foods, sitting in the rain or cold at a sporting events, school events, community events, church events, Barbara's involvement and passion with others was limitless. She actively supported her husband during his ministries at the First Congregational Church in Warwick, RI and United Congregational Church in Middletown, RI.

Barbara, a great-grandmother, leaves her daughters, Jennifer Ferguson and husband Bruce of Smithfield, RI, Laurel Stewart and husband Terry of Ivoryton, CT, and son Peter and wife Nay of Wanaque, NJ; a grandmother of 10, she leaves Corrie Marshall, Lee Marshall, Rachelle (Horton) Parrella, Rebecca Horton, Caitlin Horton, Chris Stewart, Alison Stewart, Jason Colby, Kelly Colby, and Jessica Colby; and also, great-grandmother to 8. She also leaves her sister-in-law, Barbara (Hez) Colby, and favorite niece, Deb Erickson-Owens of Kingstown, RI. She was preceded in death by her brother, Richard Shallies of Rochester, MA.

In lieu of flowers, with a life long passion for the advancement in Alzheimer's research, please consider a donation in her name to The Alzheimer Association, CT Chapter (

Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main St. Westerly, RI 02891 is assisting the family with arrangements. Visiting hours will be Friday, Aug 28, from 4 – 7 PM at the funeral home with seating capacity limits, social distancing guidelines and other public health directives (i.e., use of facemasks and maximum of 15 people in the building at any given time and no large gatherings in the parking lot) will be in place. Burial will be held privately.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara Shallies Colby, please visit our floral store.


August 28, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home
121 Main St.
Westerly, RI 02891

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