Barbara Liotta, widow of retired Air Force Colonel Robert G. (Bob) Liotta, died November 3, 2023 in Manchester, New Hampshire. She was 94. Barbara was born in Everett, Massachusetts, to Helen and Joseph Hearns. She grew up on Long Island, in the suburbs of New York City, where she had known her husband since they were teenagers. They were married for 72 years. She earned a Bachelor's degree in English at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NY, in 1950. Three months later, when the Korean War broke out, she married her husband, a young Second Lieutenant pilot in the US Air Force. In the late 1960s, when he was stationed at Brown University, she earned her Master's degree in Library Science at the University of Rhode Island. She worked as a children's librarian in both Providence and Cranston, RI, and was the chief recreational librarian at a Northrop Aircraft facility in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. When she and her husband were living in Tehran, Iran, in the 1970s, she taught English as a Second Language (ESL) to young Warrant Officers, and then to promising young Colonels at the Imperial Iranian War College.
As a military wife, Barbara was often solely responsible for the rearing of their three sons while her husband served overseas or was away on temporary duty. Hers was a nomadic life involving many moves. Their move to Birch Hill Terrace (now RiverWoods) in Manchester, NH, was her 53rd move. She lived in 12 states (sometimes moving to the same state, like Alabama and Texas, four or five times). She kept the family together when Bob went to combat assignments in Korea and Vietnam. She accompanied her husband to Australia and Iran while he was on active duty. After retiring from the military, when her husband worked for Northrop Aircraft Corporation (now Northrop Grumman), they moved to Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and South Korea. She spent 12 years in five foreign countries, fashioning homes in thoroughly different climates and cultures. While living overseas, Barbara often planned family trips. They became inveterate travelers. After a final retirement, Barbara and Bob went repeatedly to Europe, especially to Tuscany, Italy.
Apart from earning her degrees, Barbara had a great intellectual curiosity and often took courses at diverse institutions - CCNY in New York City, the University of Maine, the University of Alabama, Huntingdon College in Alabama, and Cameron University in Oklahoma. Before moving to the Seacoast area, she was an enthusiastic participant in ILEAD (Institute for Lifelong Education at Dartmouth). A dedicated correspondent, Barbara kept in touch with friends long after they had moved to a new area. She was the touchstone for keeping their far-flung family members informed. A constant reader, she was a long-time member of the Water Street Bookstore discussion group in Exeter, NH, returning for meetings long after she had moved to Durham and then to Manchester. She was active in the Birch Hill Terrace book discussion group and often wrote travel pieces, interviews, and book reviews for The Banner, the Birch Hill community newspaper.
Barbara's family was the most important thing in her life. She was the mother of three sons, the grandmother of six grandchildren, and the proud great-grandmother of six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her youngest son, Dr. Peter Hearns Liotta, in 2012; and by her husband of 72 years, Robert G. Liotta, in January 2023. She is survived by their sons Robert of Goodyear, Arizona and Jeffrey of Orr's Island, Maine; their daughters-in-law; six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Services will be private with burial in the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, NH.