Ossining's Barbara Brewster, 98, Former Teachers Union Head, Outdoor, Art Enthusiast

Barbara (Murphy) Brewster, a Connecticut native and longtime resident of Ossining, died on March 31 at the age of 98. 

Barbara Brewster
Barbara Brewster Photo Credit: Contributed

Predeceased by her husband Frederick R. Brewster and daughter Susan (Brewster) Eisenmann, she is survived by three daughters, Deborah Ferrenz (husband Mark) of Roslindale, MA; Abigail McGahey (husband David) of Santa Fe, NM and Alison Brewster (husband Ray Henderson) of Nazareth, PA as well as eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister, Ellen Morse (husband Charles) of Manchester, CT and predeceased by three brothers.

Mrs. Brewster was born and raised in Manchester, CT and graduated with honors from Connecticut College in 1943 with a degree in chemistry. She was then employed as a research chemist by Kodak in Rochester, where she earned a patent for work on cyanoacrylate, which later became a primary component of superglue.

She married Frederick Brewster in May, 1944. For several years after WWII the couple resided in London, England. They relocated to Ossining in 1955 and became members of the Briarcliff Congregational Church, where Mrs. Brewster served on multiple committees until recently. While her daughters were all school age, she entered graduate school, earning a Master of Library Science degree at Columbia University.

Mrs. Brewster was employed for 24 years as a librarian/media specialist at Ossining schools, where she was an early advocate and activist for introducing computers and software technology to students. She also served as president of the Ossining teachers union and was noted for her instrumental role as a contract negotiator.

Mrs. Brewster was an art enthusiast. She was a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and frequently organized day trips with friends to visit museums in the city. She was also an adventurous outdoors-woman. She rode the rapids on the Nantahala River in North Carolina in 1993 and took a mule trip along the edge of Bryce Canyon in Utah in 2006 at age 84.

A memorial will be held at a future date at the Briarcliff Congregational Church. 

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