Barbara Juel Buchanan, devoted to service above self, dies at age 95


Barbara Juel Buchanan (Photo provided)

Barbara Juel Buchanan of Milford, Pa., died on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, at the United Methodist Communities Bristol Glen in Newton, N.J. She was 95
She was born on Nov. 2, 1923, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Einar Olsen Juel and Mary Duffy Juel. As a young teenager, Barbara converted to Catholicism, and her religion was her guiding light, leading her to a lifetime of service in the various communities and countries in which she would eventually reside. She was a graduate of the University of Minnesota.
Shortly after her marriage on April 23, 1946, to Theodore Stewart Buchanan Jr., they moved to London, England, where Ted was stationed as a Commander in the Merchant Marines. They briefly resided in Antwerp, Belgium, and moved on to Bremen, Germany, where their two daughters were born. Barbara was an officer of the International Women’s Club while they were living in Germany.
In 1950, they relocated to Genoa, Italy, where they remained for many years. While in Genoa, Barbara founded the first American Women’s Club and served several terms as the Club’s President. She was a member of the Italo-American Association and helped to raise funds for the restoration and upkeep of an orphanage, which had been ravaged during World War II.
Thereafter, in 1963, Ted and Barbara returned to the United States and settled in New Orleans, Louisiana. As she loved community service, she instantly became involved in numerous organizations, serving as president, chairperson of numerous boards, a member of executive committees, and chaired capital campaigns. Among just a few of the incredibly long list of very diverse organizations in which she served were: United Way, New Orleans Home for the Incurables, Women’s Committee New Orleans Philharmonic Symphony Society, St. Elizabeth’s Children’s Home, Heart Ambassadors, New Orleans Museum of Art, the Archbishop’s Community Appeal, Friends of Maritime Museum (Charter Member), Educational Broadcasting Company Board of Trustees (Charter Member, Chair of Development WLAE-TV), Loyola College of Music, Chateau de Norte Dame, Orleans Club, St. Vincent’s Infants’ Home and the DePaul Hospital Guild. She was named one of Ten Outstanding Women by the Women’s Auxiliary Volunteers of America and among many other awards; Archbishop Phillip M. Hannan presented her with the prestigious Order of St. Louis Medallion, in 1976.
When Barbara’s husband, Ted, retired, after living in New Orleans for 23 years, they returned to Milford, Pa., in 1985, where Ted Buchanan’s family had resided for many generations. Naturally, Barbara became involved with community and non-profit organizations in Pike County, Pennsylvania. In 1995, Barbara was honored as the Gazette’s Citizen of the Year for her tireless volunteerism. Most notably, she organized the committee to authenticate and preserve the Lincoln Flag housed in The Columns at the Pike County Historical Society, and was designated and honored as a President Emeritus of the Society. In 2004, she was the recipient of the Spirit of Rotary Community Service Award, which recognized her “Service Above Self” to our community. She served in leadership positions with the Pike Unit of the American Cancer Society, the Pike County Historical Society, the Milford Enhancement Committee, the Milford Garden Club, and the Mount Laurel Center for the Performing Arts, the United Way of Pike County, the Pike County Public Library, Grey Towers Heritage Association, Pinchot Institute for Conservation and the Pike County Chamber of Commerce. She was an active member and Communicant of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Milford, Pa. Barbara was requested by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Foundation to identify the precise requirements of Croatia’s desperately needy population. She then assisted them in raising funds to rebuild two hospitals in Croatia, which served children, treated cancer patients and provided trauma services to hundreds of thousands of Croatians whose country had been devastated by war. The Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Foundation appointed her to the National Board of Governors of the Foundation and was also appointed the National Chairperson of the Children’s Committee.
In 2014, the Greater Pike Community Foundation established the Barbara J. Buchanan Community Service Award to honor her outstanding service to our community and recognized her as the first recipient of this prestigious award. The award will be presented annually to recognize those Pike County residents who exemplify the spirit of giving back to our community. Barbara was a patron, donor, supporter, community activist, and philanthropist extraordinaire. She was an outstanding mentor and guided others into active “hands on duty” through volunteerism and community service by inviting them to work alongside her. She volunteered in every place she lived throughout her life. Barbara raised millions of dollars for many diverse organizations she supported.
Barbara believed that you must use whatever talents you have in service to your community. Honored and recognized many times internationally, and the recipient of numerous awards, she maintained her lifelong journey of personal commitment to service and charitable support of worthy causes throughout the world. This was reflected in Barbara’s core belief, “The most important thing in life is to live up to your full potential and utilize the talents you have been given by God to serve your community.”
She is survived by her daughter, Patricia McNamara DiGennaro; a grandson, Brendan Buchanan McNamara and his wife, Casey; a granddaughter, Barbara Elise Thompson and her husband, Nicholas; a son-in-law, L. William Burt; a niece, Susan Egginton; and her dear and loyal friend, Raymond Weeks.
Her beloved husband, of 49 years, Theodore Stewart Buchanan Jr., and their daughter, Judith Burt, predeceased Barbara.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Stroyan Funeral Home, 405 West Harford St., Milford, Pa. A Catholic Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, 111 West High St., Milford.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the “Barbara J. Buchanan Fund” at The Greater Pike Community Foundation, 201 Broad St., Suite 5, (P.O. Box 992), Milford, PA 18337.