May 31, 1936 ~ August 7, 2022

Born in: Meriden, CT
Resided in: Meriden, CT

Barbara Ann (Gerschefski) Kuchalla, 86, passed away peacefully at the CT Baptist Home in Meriden, CT. She was cared for and loved by her family and special friends, along with kindest of nurses and aides at CBH, whom she adored and admired for their skills, loving compassion and friendship.
Barbara was born on May 31, 1936 in Meriden, where she was a lifetime resident. She was the daughter of the late John and Arline (Goddard) Gerschefski and grew up among a large extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. She married the love of her life, Joseph Kuchalla, and over the next 54 years they raised their two daughters. Together they most valued family time, bringing their daughters to the beach with lots of laughter and smiles. Barbara was a world traveler. With Joe and their closest friends by their sides, they visited many countries, road tripped all over the US, and traveled the seas, all while enjoying her love of photography and journal writing along the way. Barbara had stacks of photo albums filled with the wonderful memories that we will cherish forever.
Barbara attended St. Andrew’s Church in Meriden and was an active member of that community for most of her life. She was a regular at the 10 o’clock Sunday service and volunteered in countless ways. Barbara would proudly sing off-key, and was one of the harder congregants to rein-in during St. Andrew’s spirited “passing of the peace.” She enjoyed teaching 2nd grade Sunday School for over 20 years, was President of the Episcopal Churchwomen for 25 years, and served on The Vestry, Alter Guild, Craft Group and other various committees.
Barbara is survived by two daughters and their husbands whom she adored; Christine and Allan Shiller of Glastonbury, and Jodi and Lorne Sullivan of Punta Gorda, FL. The lights of her life were her devoted grandchildren and their families; Ryan Shiller and his daughter Ryleigh Shiller, and Rebecca and Benji Soulos and their son, Levi Soulos. Four days before Barbara passed, Rebecca and Benji also welcomed twin boys, Leo and Lucas Soulos. Barbara had been so looking forward to their birth, and was fortunately able to be told of their arrival here on earth just before she left us for her new life in heaven.
Very special to Barbara were her eight nieces and two nephews and their families; Diane Bussolini, Sally and Jon Vanesse, Kim Roraback, Gay and Patrick Mulligan, Jamie and Alison Roraback, Karen and Doug Sweetbaum, Susan and Greg Leicht, and Wendy and David Gershefski. She also leaves her sister-in-law, Lillian Kuchalla. Special cousins and lifelong friends include Lorraine Layman of Wallingford, Barbara Joan Kuczynski of Australia, Patty and Tom Inglis of Middletown, and their families. She was predeceased by a brother, Jack Gershefski, and his wife Phyllis, a sister, Betty Roraback, and her husband Jim, a granddaughter, Rachael Shiller, and her brother-in-law, Stephen Kuchalla.
A graveside funeral service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 3rd, at 11:00 a.m. at Gethsemane Cemetery, 76 Bee St., Meriden. Fr. Mark Beyers from St. Andrews Church will officiate. Memorial contributions in Barbara’s name may be made to St. Andrew’s Church, 20 Catlin St., Meriden, CT 06450, or to the Connecticut Baptist Home, 292 Thorpe Ave., Meriden, CT 06450.

Services

Graveside Service: September 3, 2022 11:00 am

Gethsemane Cemetery
76 Bee Street
Meriden, CT 06450


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  1. Dear Chrissi & Allan & Family & Jodi & Lorne,
    Words cannot express how sad we are of your Mom’s (Aunt Barbara’s) passing. We will forever cherish the happy times she graciously hosted all of the our tea parties (w/o cellphones which were confiscated in her wicker basket upon arrival!), Christmas and birthday parties throughout the years. She was never lacking in conversation when I would call and be on the phone for over an hour chatting with the latest news about her family which she treasured. I loved taking her places whether it be out for lunch, shopping or a day trip to the Mohawk Trail. She loved trying out new recipes and sharing long-time family favorites by creating “The Kitchen Divas And Their Favorite Recipes From Days Gone By” cookbook. She lived life to the fullest and was an inspiration to all of us. She is now at peace in heaven with her beloved Joe.

  2. We’re so saddened to read of your mother’s passing. Chrissy and Jody, please accept our deepest sympathy. Many fond memories of Clearield Dr., Catskill Game Farm and the beach. Love Mr Z. and Terri.

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