Barbara A. Hemenway


Barbara A. Hemenway, R.N., died Thursday, August 1, 2019 at Riverview Healthcare in Coventry. She was 85.

Born in Providence, a daughter of the late Thomas W. Hemenway and the late Ann M. (Wightman) Hemenway-Walker, she was the step-daughter of the late Lawrence E. Walker and the former wife of the late H. Ronald Hawksley.

A graduate of Cranston High School, Class of 1952 and Rhode Island Hospital School of Nursing, Class of 1955, Barbara's nursing career began working at Rhode Island Hospital before being employed as a District Nurse in South County. Her career continued at South County Hospital where she worked as Head Nurse in the Emergency Room and as a Nursing Supervisor. After moving to Baltimore, MD she worked in The Johns Hopkins Hospital Emergency Room. After a few years, she relocated in the early 1980's to Gainsville, FL where she worked at Shands Hospital. She also worked as a private duty nurse for insurance companies.

She returned to Rhode Island and worked for South Shore Mental Health in Charlestown and also as a hospice nurse. Then she worked at Butler Hospital, Providence mainly in the ECT Department as a staff nurse. She retired from nursing in early 1999 to take care of her mother and aunt. During her career she furthered her education by taking college level courses. She also became certified in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support enabling her to work in an emergency room and in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, which allowed her to serve as a CPR Instructor. A faithful Christian she belonged to the former Arlington Baptist Church, Cranston where she taught Sunday School classes for children and adults. As a volunteer for the American Baptist Churches of RI she spent many hours helping to clear and develop land in Exeter which would become the denomination's Canonicus Camping and Conference Center. She remained an active volunteer at Canonicus into the early 1990's. She later attended Oaklawn Community Baptist Church, Cranston and in recent years worshiped with her sister, Charlene, at Cranston Christian Fellowship. Barbara was a member of the RH Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association. She loved to read, but her most favorite past time was spending the summer at Aunt Mabel Reilly's beach house at Carpenter's Beach Meadow, commonly referred to as "Mary Carpenter's Beach" in Matunuck, RI She also belonged to the Matunuck Community Association.

She is survived by her brother Robert B. Hemenway; her sister Charlene M. Hemenway, her sister-in-law Kathleen Hemenway and by three generations of nieces & nephews: Jennifer, Thomas (wife Kelly) & Christopher; Mayanna, Ricardo, Trevene, Tate, Nora and Sierra, and Michael & Nathaniel. She was the Godmother of Pamela White. She was predeceased by her brother Thomas W. Hemenway III.

Her funeral service was held at Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home & Crematory, 659 East Greenwich Avenue, West Warwick on Friday, August 16. Burial was in Moshassuck Cemetery, Central Falls.

Donations in her memory may be made to Hope Alzheimer’s Center, 25 Brayton Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920. Condolences may also be offered and memories shared online at


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