Barbara P. Marr

Published 9:03 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Barbara Putnam Marr, 91, died March 16, 2015. A resident of Suffolk since 1962, she had resided at Lake Prince Woods Retirement Community since 2002.



Born in Syracuse, N.Y., and brought up in nearby Weedsport, she was the daughter of the village pharmacist, Jay Remington Putnam, and Eva Hoyt Putnam. After graduating as valedictorian from Weedsport High School, Barbara attended New York State College for Teachers and graduated from Boston University. In 1974 she earned a master’s degree at Old Dominion University.

In 1944 she married the Rev. Robert Burrell Marr, a minister in the United Church of Christ. Together they enjoyed 69 years of marriage until Robert’s death in 2013. They lived in South Grafton, Mass., Fairport, N.Y., and Conneaut, Ohio, before moving to Suffolk in 1962.

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Having a lifelong interest in education, she was the librarian at the former Suffolk High School for several years, served as a reading specialist, and later became an adjunct English instructor at Tidewater Community College. A published poet herself, she was an avid fan of the poetry of Emily Dickinson and others.

She was a member of Suffolk Christian Church, where her husband was pastor for 23 years. She had attended Oakland Christian United Church of Christ for the past 10 years.

She is survived by five children: Wayne Putnam Marr (Naomi), of Damascus, Md.; Lauren Marr Wood (David), of Middle Grove, N.Y.; Diane Marr Asiel (John), of New York, N.Y.; Bruce Burrell Marr, of Chicago, Ill.; and, Sarah Alice Marr, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; six grandchildren: Christopher Marr (Summer), Adam Marr, Sarah Mathis Zaman (Nadim), Glen Mathis (Daria), Martin McLaughlin and Rachel McLaughlin; five great-grandchildren: Myles, Chase and Wayde Marr; Lyndon Zaman, and Quinn Mathis; also several dear nieces, a nephew, cousins, step-grandchildren, and step-great-grandchildren.

The love and support of her family gave Barbara her greatest joy, but she was also grateful for the friendships developed at Lake Prince Woods and through her summer stays at Silver Bay YMCA Conference Center and Family Retreat on Lake George, N.Y.

A celebration of Barbara’s life will be held Monday, March 23, at 2 p.m. in the Portsmouth Room at Lake Prince Woods. The Rev. Greg Ryan will officiate, with participation by the Rev. Michael D. Halley and the Rev. Justin Creech. Following the service, the family will greet friends at a reception at Lake Prince Woods. Burial will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to: Lake Prince Woods Benevolence Fund, 100 Anna Goode Way, Suffolk, VA 23434; Oakland Christian Church UCC, 5641 Godwin Blvd., P.O. Box 2008, Suffolk, VA 23432; and Silver Bay YMCA, 87 Silver Bay Road, Silver Bay, NY 12874.

R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 W. Washington St., Suffolk, VA 23434 is serving the family. Condolences may be registered at