Cover photo for Barbara Jo Chaffee's Obituary
Barbara Jo Chaffee Profile Photo
1929 Barbara jo 2011

Barbara Jo Chaffee

June 1, 1929 — December 20, 2011

Nashua, NH-A remarkably full life ended on December 20, 2011 at the Community Hospice House in Merrimack, NH. Barbara Jo Serber Chaffee, the daughter of Gilbert M. and Ruth L. Serber formerly of New York City, passed away in the presence of her loving daughters, Catherine W. Chaffee and Susan C. Cuyler, her sister, Diane Serber, and her devoted husband of nearly 50 unimaginably wonderful years, Bruce A. Chaffee. Barbara Jo, known to friends and family as Bobbie, was a physician, but in the earlier days of her life an educator and a research scientist. As a result of her noteable pituitary gland research she was elected to the prestigious scientific research society, Sigma Xi. Her undergraduate degree was from Indiana University following which she earned a PhD in Anatomy from Columbia University in New York City. During those years she did basic research on the pituitary gland and taught Histology and Anatomy at both NYU Medical School and The College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. In the days when women were not encouraged to become Medical Doctors, it was Bobbie's lifetime dream to become a physician. Following her dream she once again became a student at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. While teaching Histology and Anatomy part-time, she completed her pre-clinical studies. She then entered her clinical years as a full-time student and received her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1963. It was during her Internship at the Mary Fletcher Hospital in Burlington, Vermont, under the teaching auspices of the The University of Vermont College of Medicine, that she met her husband, Bruce, who, at that time was a Resident in Neurological Surgery. They were married on May 22, 1965 in The Carter memorial Methodist Church in Needham, MA. At that time, Doctor Chaffee was a Resident in Pathology at the Deaconness Hospital under the teaching auspices of Harvard Medical College. After producing two wonderful daughters, she returned to the Deaconness Hospital where she completed her Residency in Anatomic Pathology. Doctor Chaffee was an avid downhill skier, a love of which she imparted to her husband and family. Her interests outside of medicine included church related activities and handcrafted quilting. In the midst of all of her professional and family obligations she managed to remain physically fit with almost daily workouts at a gym. In 1978 she and her husband went on active duty in the United States Army Medical Corp, serving in the 10th Medical Lab in Landstuhl, Germany. After two years, she and her husband were reassigned to the Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center located on the grounds of Fort Gordon, GA., where, having attained the rank of Lt Colonel she served as the Chief of Anatomical Pathology and directed the training of the Pathology residents under her supervision. During those years she also became deeply involved in the regular activities of the National Hills Baptist Church in August, GA. After leaving the Army, she and her family moved to Central Maine where she completed her medical career as a staff Pathologist at Saint Mary's Regional medical Center in Lewiston, Maine. In 1995 she retired from her long and accomplished medical career and she and her husband moved to Wolfeboro, NH. There she and her husband joined the First Congregational Church of Ossipee and continued to pursue her church-related interests including weekly Bible study. Doctor Chaffee was a devoted mother, wife and grandmother. Despite all of her many interests and obligations, her family came first by a wide margin. She was a wonderful role model for her two daughters and grandchildren. At the time of her death she and her husband had been married for nearly 47 years. To her family and close friends, it was clearly evident that their love was a story of its own. She is survived by her husband, Doctor Bruce A. Chaffee, two daughters, Catherine W. Chaffee and Susan C. Cuyler, two step-sons, Bradley L. and Craig S. Chaffee and a sister, Diane Serber, FAIA, a retired architect. In addition to her four grandchildren, Lena Catherine Rukhadze, Alexandra Elizabeth "Lexie" Rukhadze, Matthew Justin Cuyler and Thomas Allen Cuyler, she also has five step-grandchildren, Dustin, Jennifer, Sarah, Amanda and Nick. Despite a more recent move to Nashua, NH, Doctor Chaffee remained a member of the First Congregational Church of Ossipee, NH and maintained her close friendships with her many Wolfeboro friends. Following a private service at the Baker Gagne Funeral Home, Doctor Barbara Jo Serber Chaffee was buried on December 22, 2011 in the Lakeview Cemetery in Wolfeboro, NH. There will be a Memorial Service to remember and honor her remarkable life, which she lived to its fullest. The service will be held at 2pm on the 28th of January, 2012 at the First Congregational Church of Ossipee. A reception will follow the service. All friends and family are invited. For contact information, call or text either 603-998-0474 or 617-510-7999. In lieu of cards and letters, it is the wish of the family that a donation is made to The Community Hospice House, 210 Naticook Rd, Merrimack, NH in grateful memory of Barbara Jo Chaffee, MD, PhD.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Jo Chaffee, please visit our flower store.

Visits: 0

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree