Barbara V. (Davidson) Dembitz, 94, of Methuen and formerly of Haverhill, passed away peacefully Saturday, July 1, at her home at Methuen Village Assisted Living.
Dembitz was born in New Rochelle, N.Y., May 10, 1923, to Alfred and Vera Davidson. She attended Cornell University and graduated from a New York City college. After graduation, she worked for a short time as an insurance claims investigator.
She met, fell in love with and married the man of her dreams, Anthony Dembitz, a soldier who returned from the war. They were married 62 years and raised their family in North Merrick, a town on Long Island, 30 minutes from the ocean and Jones Beach. She became a legal secretary at a law firm, Immerman & Pearlman, for more than 20 years. When Barbara was not working, she loved movies, theater, fine dining and spending time with her two sons, Andrew and Kenny. She loved baseball, with the New York Yankees being her team. She had a major league crush on Roger Maris, the home run king of his day. She also loved tennis and is well-remembered for “stalking” tennis star Guillermo Vilas in 1977 at the U.S. Open after his stunning victory over Jimmy Conners, knocking on Guillermo’s limo window to say hi and get his autograph.
The couple eventually moved to White Plains, N.Y., when they became empty-nesters. She began playing bridge, often several times a week. Barbara loved to chat and found a passion in teaching conversational English to the wives of Japanese businessmen. She developed several close relationships with some of these women and stayed in touch with them for many years. They loved to travel the world and had many exotic trips.
They moved to Haverhillin August of 2008 to be close to family. They continued to enjoy dining out and frequent family parties, and the slower pace of Haverhill suited them both just fine. When Tony passed away on May 6, 2011, Barbara moved to assisted living. The family thanks the staff in the memory assistance unit of Methuen Village for the professional care given and personal affection.
Besides her children, Andrew and Marla (Bark) Dembitz of Deerfield, Ill., and Kenneth and Maureen (Kelley) Dembitz of Haverhill, and her granddaughter Alexandra Bark Dembitz of Chicago, Ill., she leaves several nephews, grand-nephews and nieces, and her large extended families of the Dembitzes in Illinois and the Kelleys in Massachusetts. She was predeceased by her mother Vera, father Alfred, step mother Lillian, brother Alfred and half-sister Elaine Barruch.
The family is planning a July 29 “celebration” party in honor of Dembitz’s life and accomplishments. For updates email [email protected] or call or text Maureen at 978-289-7003. Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org.