November 21, 1935 – December 29, 2020
Emily Lynch Barrett
Emily Cunneen (Lynch) Barrett passed away peacefully December 29, 2020 at Cape Cod Hospital ending her long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Though the Covid-19 pandemic restricted visitation from relatives and friends, her daughter, Katy Barrett and Katy’s husband Andrew Langhoff were able to spend the majority of Emily’s last week by her bedside.
Born November 21, 1935, in Cambridge, MA, she was the youngest child of William Stang Lynch and Katharine (Brady) Lynch. She was a native of Fall River, MA where both her parents’ families had lived for many generations. Emily was married to the late Edward Tilton (Ted) Barrett II originally of Milton, MA, for 45 years until his death in December 2005. Together they raised four children.
Emily’s parents moved her and her two older brothers from Fall River to the New York City’s East Village where her father, Bill, served as an English Professor and Chair of the Humanities Department at Cooper Union College. They lived in an apartment once occupied by the poet Walt Whitman. Emily’s parents edited and critiqued several published books on poetry.
The Lynch’s then moved to Bronxville, NY until Katharine became terminally ill. Bill moved the family back to Fall River to be near Katharine’s family. Bill left Cooper Union to become Superintendent of Schools for Fall River. Katharine passed away when Emily was eleven years old. Her mother’s death left a most difficult absence that lasted with Emily always. Her mother’s sister, Agnes, helped fill the maternal role.
With her older brothers away at college, her father sent Emily to board at the all-girls Lincoln School in Providence, RI. She matriculated to Wheaton College in Norton, MA graduating in Class of ’57.
Working in Boston she met her future husband Ted on a blind date. Ted, Harvard College Class of ’55, asked a mutual friend if she could set him up with a date to the 1958 Harvard-Yale football game. His friend suggested he call Emily. They went to the game; were engaged in 1959; and married April 19, 1960 in Fall River. The couple moved to Hingham, MA and the first two of their four children were born at Milton Hospital.
Ted was offered a low-level position in the John F. Kennedy White House. Emily and her family left New England for Washington D.C. in 1963. After Kennedy’s death, the couple had two more children and moved to the Wood Acres neighborhood of Bethesda, MD. Eventually they settled in Potomac, MD. Ted went to law school at night and worked at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Emily made most of her closest friends in Wood Acres, primarily by meeting other young mothers pushing baby carriages.
She pursued a career working at independent schools. She served in administration at the all-girls Holton Arms School in Bethesda, MD and then served as Director of Admissions at the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School of Potomac, MD. She stopped working after her children were grown.
Emily was active in local theater acting and producing plays. She played Bridge regularly and was an accomplished tennis player as a member of the River Falls Swim and Tennis Club.
Emily came to love the D.C. area and her friendships grew very close. She and Ted raised their children; brought them to sports; swim and tennis teams; piano lessons; put on Christmas pageants, and went on summer vacations to Cape Cod, MA and Little Compton, RI to visit family. There were regular vacations to the Chesapeake Bay, MD and the Outer Banks, NC.
One of Emily’s great loves was acoustic guitar and singing. This usually took place after dinner parties she hosted, or others hosted. She partnered with her close friend Barbara Denison playing and singing folk songs. A member of the Washington Junior League, Emily played guitar and sang as a chorister for the League’s Christmas albums.
Ted retired in 1994. They purchased and restored an old farm house in Harwich Port, MA, the same hamlet that Ted grew up in the summers and where the Barrett’s visited family. Saddened leaving New England decades before, Emily was equally saddened leaving her Washington friends.
The Barrett’s reconnected with family and old friends and made new ones walking the dog. Black labs were a big part of Emily’s life. In the years prior to Washington, they raced Ted and his sister Barbara’s Wianno, Sr. sailboat off Harwich Port and cruised often on Ted’s father’s boat the “Valhalla”.
The greatest aspect of Harwich Port was its attraction to Emily’s children and grandchildren to come visit on the Cape. Grandchildren learned sailing and tennis and all the family spent quality time together and with cousins and friends. Emily was always called “Hummy” by her grandchildren, a sobriquet given to her by her parents when she was a little girl. Emily cherished the time with family most of all and spent the last chapter of her life with her family on Cape Cod. Parkinson’s slowed her mobility immensely depriving her of playing tennis and of so much freedom. But her love of family and friends never waned.
Emily and Ted belonged to the Stone Horse Yacht Club and the Harwich Port Tennis Association both of Harwich Port and Eastward Ho! Country Club, Chatham, MA. They were members of the Harvard Clubs of Cape Cod and Boston and Emily was a member of the Harwich Garden Club.
One of her favorite songs was by John Denver. “Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane; Don't know when I'll be back again; Oh babe, I hate to go.” God’s speed to our mother Emily.
Emily was predeceased by her husband Ted, her brother Bradley Lynch and grandson Matthew Langhoff. She is survived by her daughter Katharine Agnes (Katy) Barrett and her husband Andrew Langhoff of Bronxville, NY; her sons Raymond Francis (Rod) Barrett II and his wife Nancy Barrett of Gaithersburg, MD; Edward Tilton (Ted) Barrett III and his wife Debra Barrett of Bethesda, MD; and Andrew Lynch Barrett and his wife Frances Barrett of Milton, MA. She has eleven grandchildren. Trey and Becky Barrett; Will, Caroline and Elizabeth Langhoff; Daniel, Anna and Olivia Barrett; Katharine, Christopher and Victoria Barrett. She is also survived by her brother James Brady (Shay) Lynch and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Due to Covid-19, a funeral mass at Holy Trinity Church and burial at Mount Pleasant Cemetery both in Harwich Port will be private. A celebration of Emily’s life is planned in the summer of 2021. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Emily’s name to either the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association.
- William Stang Lynch, Father (deceased)
- Katharine (Brady) Lynch, Mother (deceased)
- Edward Tilton (Ted) Barrett II, Husband (deceased)
- James Brady (Shay) Lynch, Brother
- Bradley Lynch, Brother (deceased)
- Katharine Agnes (Katy) Barrett (husband Andrew Langhoff), Daughter
- Raymond Francis (Rod) Barrett II (wife Nancy Barrett), Son
- Edward Tilton (Ted) Barrett III (wife Debra Barrett), Son
- Andrew Lynch Barrett (wife Frances Barrett), Son
- Matthew Langhoff, Grandson (deceased)
- Trey Barrett, Grandchild
- Becky Barrett, Grandchild
- Will Langhoff, Grandchild
- Caroline Langhoff, Grandchild
- Elizabeth Langhoff, Grandchild
- Daniel Barrett, Grandchild
- Anna Barrett, Grandchild
- Olivia Barrett, Grandchild
- Katharine Barrett, Grandchild
- Christopher Barrett, Grandchild
- Victoria Barrett, Grandchild
- She is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews.
Saturday, January 9, 2021
Saturday, January 9, 2021
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January 16, 2021
Dear Andrew and family,
Mike and I are so sad to hear of your mom's passing.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
love and condolences
Leslie and Mike Heffernan
January 13, 2021
Although saddened to learn of her passing, I so enjoyed reading Emily's well-written obituary. Learned a few things too. I will always remember my Aunt as nice and bright and lively and fun, as someone who really listened to you, to what it was you were saying, which I got to experience as a young child. Yes, Godspeed Emily. My sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to all the Barretts.
Tracy and Len Galla
January 9, 2021
Tracy (Denison) and I are feeling such a loss. Emily was such a force when Tracy and I got married. We cherish those memories. I read Emily's obituary to Tracy, and she was very moved.
January 8, 2021
Your Mother was a great lady and we will all miss her. She was a good friend to my mother. So sorry for your loss. My prayers be with all her family.
January 8, 2021
Our sincere condolences to the Barrett family. Emily was a beautiful mom and grandma. Please know you are all in our prayers.
Brandon and Katie Cutter
January 7, 2021
We were so sorry to hear of Emily’s passing.
This is a beautiful tribute to a truly special woman.
Sending you all our love and deepest condolences during this difficult time.
January 7, 2021
Dear Katy & Family
Our sincerest sympathy for the loss of your mother. Our thoughts and hopes ..rest in peace.
barbara & george denison
January 6, 2021
Dear, wonderful Emily - Our memories are many - over 55 years - and dear to us all as the Denison and Barrett families bonded over the years. We give thanks for those many fond memories of you, Teddy and your dear family.
January 6, 2021
Dear Andrew, Frances and family,
Our deepest condolences to all of you during this difficult time. What a lovely tribute to your mom - it paints such a warm, loving and happy portrait of a life well lived. She obviously passed along her love of life and family, her curious mind, and outgoing personality to you. My father used to say that he didn't buy into using platitudes to ease one's sorrow because it is just plain sad to lose a mother. I agree with him on this, but we do hope that with the support of Frances and your three lovely children, you will be able to grieve and carry on.
All our love,
Ross, Jill, Henry, Harrison & Hayes
January 5, 2021
Although I only had the privilege of meeting “hummy” a few times her grace, humor and our conversations have stayed with me. She reminded me a lot of my own late grandmother and we bonded over a love for ice cream (I’ll always think of her when I see hägandas coffee ice cream). She was generous enough to open her home to me and like so many others I was able to make some incredible memories there. I am very proud to have known hummy and I see where Katharine gets her strength that inspires me everyday!
Sending love to the whole Barrett family
Elizabeth Fryer Cardner
January 5, 2021
I am so sorry to hear of Emily's passing. I have fond memories of time spent with her when visiting Little Compton. Please know that all of you are in our thoughts and prayers.
January 5, 2021
We will miss your warm smile and greeting. Loved those devil eggs way back when... Thank goodness you retired in Harwichport.
January 5, 2021
Emily will be missed by so many, many people. I got to know Emily when we worked together at the Second Glance Thrift Shop, when it originally opened on Cross Street in Harwich Port, and continued for several years when the Shop moved to Route 28 in Harwich Port. She was always ready to share a laugh. Such good times. As a fellow Holy Trinity parishioner, I was also fortunate and blessed to be able to be her Eucharistic Minister to the Homebound, bringing her Holy Communion and pray together when she was unable to attend Mass. It was also a good time to share a pizza with her and our mutual friend, Peg Devanney. Emily is now at peace and will be treasured in so many hearts for a long time. God bless you, Emily.