Barbara J. Prunier
Barbara Jean Prunier
April 19, 1941 – April 19, 2013
CASTLETON — Barbara was the daughter of Dewey D. and Marion (Rogers) Balch. She was a lifelong resident of Castleton who grew up on her family farm on the East Hubbardton Road with her brothers and sisters, Betty, Joyce, George, Clint, Judy, Linda and Edward. She graduated from Fair Haven High School in 1957, married Harold “Larry” Knapp in 1958, and then raised her own family there, as well.
Barbara had an old fashioned work ethic. Whether she was packing apples, working at Simmonds Precision, taking care of children at her home day care center, or her 22 years of service at Rutland Regional Medical Center as a pharmacy technician, she gave her all to every job she had. After her retirement from RRMC, she became a home health care provider for 47 Main Street, the Dorans in West Haven, and many lucky families in the Castleton area. During the darkest hours of her illness, she would say, “I just want to get up, get dressed and go to work.” She did not just take care of her clients, she truly cared for them and missed them immensely.
Her work was balanced by her pride and love for her grandchildren. Nan’s days were never complete unless she was baking their birthday cookies, doing their laundry, being there for them when they got off the school bus or fighting for their cause of the day. She sacrificed her time and, yes, a little bit of money, making sure they had everything they needed. She did this with complete love and absolutely no regret.
Her cancer diagnosis came with great shock. She was not ready to slow down or give up. She had more baking to do, more quilts to make and many more walks to take down the sidewalks of Castleton. She was angry with her illness, but never felt sorry for herself. She fought back on her own terms, with all she had, but sadly her journey ended on her 72nd birthday, in the arms of her grandchildren, in the privacy of her own home.
She leaves behind her husband, William H. “Bill” Prunier; her children, Kevin Knapp, Kathleen Knapp and her husband Philip Stannard Sr., Karla Tomasi and her husband Joseph, Kim Ramey and her husband Richard; and her grandchildren, Kyle, Karina and Kaelee Knapp, Nathan and Lorien Stannard, Brette Langevine, Kegan, Mackinley and Liam Tomasi, and Noah Ramey.
She was predeceased by her sister, Linda Lou Balch; her baby daughter, Laurie Lee Knapp; and her parents, Dewey D. and Marion (Rogers) Balch.
Barbara taught us that nothing is more important than family. She taught us to believe in God, to give to the church, to learn something new every day, and to be grateful, humble and compassionate. She taught us why it is important to return your shopping cart, to cover your entire mailing label with packing tape and why your clothes should be hung on the line to dry. In the end, she taught us to live for today, because tomorrow...
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to her church, The Federated Church of Castleton, PO Box 57, Castleton, VT 05735; or RAVNAH, PO Box 787, Rutland, VT 05702.
Calling hours will be held Tuesday, April 23, from 4-7 p.m. at the Durfee Funeral Home in Fair Haven. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, April 24, at 11 a.m. at the Federated Church of Castleton. Following the service, she will be laid to rest beside her daughter, her sister and her parents in Hillside Cemetery. The celebration of her life will continue with a gathering of her family and friends at the Castleton American Legion Post 50, catered by her favorite restaurant, The Wheel Inn.