In Her Words
Candid Profiles of Strength Told by the Women of Northbridge
Throughout the month of March we have collaborated to celebrate Women’s History Month and the rich history of the amazing women living in our communities. Their candid stories are brimming over with love, happiness, passion, family values and the markings of individuals who have truly lived well and loved life.
Barbara’s Story (a resident of Laurelwood at The Pinehills)
What is your name and where were you born?
My name is Barbara Kent and I was born in May of 1928. My parents were Willian Penn and Barbara Clark from Boston. I was raised on the oldest farm in America – in Dover, NH – Tuttle Farm, which was passed down through 11 generations and was even featured in Life Magazine. As a child I worked on the farm and in high school I even ran a crew.
What are some of your fondest memories from growing up?
My fondest memories of my childhood include outdoor fires, and fun-filled meals with family and friends.
What schools did you attend?
After attending school in Dover, NH, I left for Radcliffe College – in those days their dorms were at Radcliffe, but the classes were at Harvard. I loved American History and graduated in 1950.
Did you marry? What was your proposal story if so?
One year my middle brother brought the Harvard track team home for a week – among them was my future husband, a boy named Robert. We married soon after I graduated from college and went on to have 4 children: Elizabeth, Dorothy, Hue, and Robert Jr.
What types of jobs did you have? Who did you work for and what did you do?
While Robert was the Dean of the Boston University Law School, I raised our 4 children at home. I was also very involved as the volunteer coordinator of Lexington Metco program which was a voluntary program that bussed children from the inner city to attend school in Lexington. Each child had a host family and naturally the hangout for the children was the Kent home! The Lexington Metco Program still exists today.
What are some of the special memories you have with your children?
When our children were older (teens) our family moved to Zambia, Africa and lived there for four years. Robert had landed a job there as a Dean of a college.
What are some of your favorite pass times?
Playing tennis, travelling to Africa, Victoria Falls.
I also love reading the paper, talking to people and getting to know their stories and eating great food!
What are your favorite experiences to take part in at Laurelwood at The Pinehills?
Laurelwood is a special place. I’m lucky to live here. I love attending history lectures, current news discussions, exercises in the Tree Top Fitness Center almost daily, walking on the trails in The Pinehills and being social.
What are your hopes for your family?
Happiness – in whatever they do.
What is your best advice for a young woman today?
To be of help, to be of matter, to contribute to the world, and to find your star and follow it.
For more information about the wonderful way of life at Laurelwood at The Pinehills, click here.