Obituary: Barbara Fine

Obituary: Barbara Fine

Barbara Fine with Jerry her husband of more than 60 years. Photo courtesy Doug Fine

Barbara Fine, a resident of Setauket for more than half a century, passed away March 21. She is the mother of Ken, Rob and Doug; grandmother of Leah, Ethan, Quinn and Zach; the mother-in-law of Dionne and Amanda; and is also survived by her brother Steve.

After being raised in New York City and Long Beach, Barbara attended the University of Michigan at age 15, and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania after transferring. A voracious reader, she later earned two master’s degrees, and taught for 40 years as a reading specialist in the William Floyd school district. 

She believed in the power of journalism, and organized annual field trips with students to Long Island newspapers. She was a strict grammarian who encouraged correct diction around the home and classroom. Her son Rob said, “She was gifted in all academic subjects, including science and math.”

She was also a founding member of Temple Isaiah in Stony Brook. Known for her sense of humor, she loved Pink Panther movies and once submitted a salad recipe to the Village Times reading, “Take lettuce, add dressing.” Her son Doug said, “I probably wouldn’t have become a writer without her upbringing.”

In her leisure time, she loved to travel and visited every continent, including Antarctica. An avid tennis player despite childhood polio, she often could be seen jogging around the Setauket Mill Pond, near which she lived with her high school sweetheart and husband of more than 60 years, Jerry, who passed away in December.