Sandra (Barton) Proia died on April 5, 2023 at Bellamy Fields in Dover, N.H. under the care of the VNA hospice team. She was 78.
Sandra was born in Middletown, N.Y. to Arthur Barton and Inez Romanelli in 1944. She met her future husband, Anthony Proia, in sixth grade; they started going out and were eventually married in 1963, the same year their son, Albert, was born. She and Anthony were married for 56 years.
Sandra received her B.A. in English in 1972 and master’s in library science in 1974 from the University of Connecticut.
Her family moved in 1974 to Maine, and she began her career at Portsmouth, N.H. Middle School as a media technologist. She especially enjoyed helping young people find literature that would captivate and motivate them to become avid readers and lifelong learners. She remained at the middle school for 34 years and never missed a day of work.
Beginning in 1969 and for a few years thereafter, Sandra and Anthony vacationed in Provincetown, pitching a tent on the dunes outside of town. When her son, Albert, with whom she was close, settled first in Provincetown in 1987 and then Wellfleet in 2004, Sandra visited him each summer. “She loved it here,” Albert said.
Sandra also loved living in Kittery Point and was proud of her home on Pepperrell Cove. An avid runner, cyclist, and swimmer, Sandra was well known for throwing an annual New Year’s Eve party that became notorious for its diverse crowd and eclectic music.
Most of all, Sandra was a great mother and wife. In her husband’s final years, she was his primary caregiver until his death in 2020.
She leaves a son, Albert, of Wellfleet; a sister-in-law, Judy Barton of Arlington, Va.; nieces Liz and Jenn Barton, of Arlington, Va.; and several cousins.
“Her three dear friends, Errol and Terry Thomas and Tim Callis, will miss her greatly,”
Albert said. “They were like family to Sandra, and she loved them very much.”
She was also predeceased by her brother, Ron.
Services are private.