In Memory of




Obituary for Anne Barbeau Gardiner

Anne Marie Therese was born in Manchester, NH, June 27, 1938. She suddenly died at her home in Brewster, NY, on October 19, 2020. Her mother, Jeannette Courchesne Barbeau, was born in the Province of Quebec, and her father, Andre Barbeau, was born in Salem, Mass. Anne’s parents died in Manchester.

Anne attended Catholic elementary (French-Canadian) schools in the Manchester area, and graduated from Villa Augustina Academy (Goffstown, NH). She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire-Durham, and in 1968 a doctorate degree in English Literature from the City University of New York (CUNY). Anne was a professor of English literature at CUNY’s John Jay College, in NYC, from 1970 until her retirement in 1996. She was a New Yorker for the next fifty-two years, and she lived near Brewster by herself for the last twenty-three years of her life.

She was a distinguished, prolific and passionate writer and author. Her first book, Intellectual Design of John Dryden’s Heroic Plays, was published by Yale University Press in 1970, during her first year as a professor at John Jay College. Over a period of fifty years, she wrote hundreds of articles related to English writers, such as Milton and Swift, as well as on Catholicism and Catholics of the seventeenth century. Some of her research was at the British National Library. Her articles and reviews were published in many journals, such as Latin Mass Magazine and New Oxford Review. In 2020 she continued to submit articles for publication. Prior to 2010 Anne was also on many panels at national and international conferences.

Anne was a very good conversationalist who loved to engage others in conversations. She was also a very talented artist of many paintings, enjoyed classical music and playing the piano. Anne was also a very private, humble, thoughtful, generous and religious person.

For several decades, Anne was extensively involved in ministering and advocating for dozens of individuals on death row in many states. A nun suggested that ministry to her and became Anne’s mentor. Anne engaged some correspondents for more than ten years! Anne would write letters to editors and initiate contact with state officials on matters related to inadequate services or insufficient, inadequate or questionable legal representation, as well as questionable action or inaction by prosecutors.

Anne married Thomas (Tom) J. Gardiner in July 1980, at St. Gregory-the-Great Church in New York City. Anne and Tom were married for only seventeen years. His parents were Robert Gardiner and Fanny Blum. Anne met Tom when he taught literature and writing at John Jay College. He specialized in writing poetry and plays on religious themes. He died in June, 1997. There were no children from the marriage.

Anne has two brothers, who were adopted by her parents. Her youngest brother, Walter, died at Robstown, Texas at the age of 63. He has several children from his previous marriage. Anne’s oldest brother, Ernie, graduated from Keene State College and has a doctorate degree in Education from West Virginia University. He and his wife, Judy, reside in Cincinnati, where

Judy was born. They have two children. Anne has nieces and nephews and also scores of cousins throughout the New England area and other states.

Anne was long involved at her local parish in Patterson, NY, Sacred Heart Church. Her pastor said that Anne was a daily communicant and prayed the rosary and was popular with other parishioners for her positive spirit, her charity and her personal warmth with everyone. Even though in her last year or so she was limited to the home, she continued her ministry of correspondence with 31 prison inmates until her death. The week before she died, she joyfully received the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick and Holy Communion.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday October 26, 2020 at Sacred Heart Church, Patterson, NY at 10am. Interment will follow on Tuesday October 27th at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Manchester, New Hampshire.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution to Sacred Heart Church is suggested (44 Haviland Drive, Patterson, New York, 12563)