Barbara Skerry Tufts

Barbara Skerry Tufts of Bedford joined her beloved late husband, Col. Harry Nathaniel Tufts (Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army), on January 22, 2017, after a short period of final declining health. She was born on October 12, 1920, at Ft. Sam Houston at San Antonia, Texas, where her parents, Col. Leslie Marshall Skerry (Field Artillery, U.S. Army) and Stella Stephens Skerry, were stationed at the time. Having been raised in the Army and then married to an Army officer, she had a very interesting and varied life, which was also blessed.

Miss Skerry lived in Oklahoma, Missouri (where her father worked with Harry Truman who was at that time in the National Guard), the Philippines (at Camp Stotsenburg, which was next to Clark Field), Wyoming (at Fort D.A. Russell (later Fort Warren)), Colorado at Fort Collins, and at Fort Lewis, Washington, where she spent her senior year of high school at Annie Wright’s Seminary. She graduated as Valedictorian of her class and went off to Wellesley College at age 16 on a full merit scholarship. She graduated in 1941 and moved to Denver to her mother’s family home where she and her mother stayed during World War II. Her father was stationed in Australia and in New Guinea, while her fiancé was serving on Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean and in India, Burma, and China as a liaison with the British Army. Upon their return, Barbara Skerry and Harry Tufts were married in 1945 at Fort Sam Houston.

As an Army wife, Mrs. Tufts lived at Los Alamos, New Mexico; Denver, Colorado; and Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, before moving to Bedford to be with her parents (then retired) and daughter while her husband served in Korea during the Korean War. Upon her husband’s safe return, the family moved to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri; Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; Ft. Belvoir, Virginia; and Honolulu, Hawaii, where she became proficient at the ukelele and hula and even danced as part of a native Hawaiian troop during Aloha Week. Subsequent assignments for her husband included one in New Orleans, Louisiana, and several in the Washington, D.C., area before he retired from the Army in 1972. In 1979, the Tufts moved to Bedford to be near her parents as they aged.

Mrs. Tufts was always involved in organizations as an active volunteer. In later years, these included The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of New Hampshire, Interrogation Club, Bedford Historical Society, Bedford Land Trust, and Bedford Garden Club. She frequently served on the boards of these organizations, often as an officer.

Mrs. Tufts was an avid reader, a crossword puzzle enthusiast, and a gardener who specialized in growing wildflowers. She always had an unending curiosity about many things. She was a gracious, brilliant lady of great integrity who stood up for what she believed in and was very generous. She was a wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother.

Preceded in death by her husband of 43 years, Col. Harry Nathaniel Tufts, she is survived by her daughter, Susan Tufts-Moore, son-in-law, Richard Bridge Moore, and grandson, Matthew Tufts Moore of Bedford.

A private burial service in the Bedford Center Cemetery is planned for later this year. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Bedford Historical Society, 24 North Amherst Road, Bedford, NH 03110, with a notation either to the Matthew Patten Endowment Fund (MPEF) or the Stevens-Buswell Community Center (SBCC). Please visit www.goodwinfh.com to sign the online guestbook.