Barbara Berka Obituary, Death – Barbara (Schemmel) Berka passed away on April 11, 2023 at the age of 86 at the Inn at Fairview in Hudson, New Hampshire. She was originally of Paxton and Briarwood in Worcester, Massachusetts. WPI Professor Ladislav H. “Laddie” Berka, who had been her husband for the previous 49 years, passed away in 2008. She is survived by two daughters: Janis Kallgren and her husband William Kallgren of Hudson, New Hampshire, along with their daughter Annika Marie;
Also, Karen Bruewer and her husband Jeffrey Bruewer of Mason, Ohio, together with their children Rosemary Grace “Romy” and Veronica Ann “Roni” Bruewer; and a large number of nieces and nephews. New York City is the place of origin for Barbara Schemmel, who is the daughter of Nicholas and Clara (Skowronik) Schemmel. She spent her childhood in New Hyde Park, which is located on Long Island.
Barbara received her high school diploma from Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and her master’s degree in Science Education from New York University. After relocating to Paxton, Barbara began working for the Audubon Society, during which time she travelled to the primary schools located within the Wachusett Regional School District in order to educate children about the natural environment.
After many years of service at the Bancroft School in Worcester, where she was both the Lower School Science Coordinator and a science teacher, Barbara took her retirement in 1998. She had been chosen to take part in the NEWEST Programme (NASA Education Workshops for Elementary School Teachers) in 1988, and as part of it, she spent a week learning at the Kennedy Space Centre. Robert H. Goddard is considered by many to be the “Father of Modern Rocketry,” and Barbara held a deep respect for him.
She was the leader of the Goddard Memorial Association; she conducted the research and wrote the text for the Goddard Memorial that is placed on Goddard Memorial Drive in Worcester; and she was a professor in the WISE programme at Assumption University, where she lectured about Robert Goddard’s life and achievements. Both the Paxton Conservation Commission and the School Committee were populated by Barbara during her time there. She participated in the 4-H programme on a regular basis. In addition to that, she served as president of the Paxton Women’s Club from 2003 until 2006 and is a life member of the organisation.
Before she moved to New Hampshire, she spent nine years in Briarwood, where she was an active part of the community and served as the editor of the local newspaper, News and Notes. At the Athy Memorial Home, which is located at 111 Lancaster Street in Worcester, calling hours will be held on Monday, April 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. Mooreland Cemetery is located at 255 Richards Ave. in Paxton, and the funeral and burial service will be held there on Tuesday, April 18 at 12 p.m.