Barbara Tolles

Obituary of Barbara S Tolles

Barbara S. Tolles passed away at her home surrounded by her loving family on July 30, 2023.  She was a 56-year resident of New Canaan.  She was born to Rachael and Frank Svec in Norwalk CT, and graduated from Norwalk schools.  

 Barbara had many interests including singing inspired by her father and grandfather who were musicians and owned a music store. She was also quite athletic, playing tennis, swimming, hiking, riding horses and skiing.  As a Red Cross instructor, she took great pride in teaching swimming to children at a local orphanage.  Inspired by her mother’s nursing career, she earned a nursing degree from St. Vincent’s School of Nursing in Bridgeport.  During her career she worked at Norwalk and St. Joseph’s hospitals in Family Medicine, the Emergency Room, and as a private duty nurse.

Barbara married Robert E. Tolles, they had two children and built a life together over 63 years.  As a family they lived in Bogotá, Colombia where her husband embarked on a Foreign Service Career; and she raised their children and volunteered as a nurse at local hospitals.

The family were members of the Shore and Country Club and Roton Point where Barbara was a competitive tennis player.  Later in her career, she was a familiar face at the New Canaan YMCA where she worked as a greeter.  In her retirement, she was active in her high school reunion committee. Barbara and Robert enjoyed traveling; particularly hiking trips in England, Ireland, and Scotland. Later in life they enjoyed memorable family vacations exploring the English countryside.

Barbara was the most wonderful mother and will be greatly missed. She was predeceased by her husband Robert, and is survived by her children David and Amanda Tolles. She also leaves behind a nephew Douglas Shimell and niece Anne Shimell.

Barbara’s family would like express their gratitude to her wonderful team of home healthcare providers who honored her wishes to age at home.  Donations can be made to local organizations that support the education of the next generation of nurses.  In addition, as an avid animal lover, donations can be made to local programs to support affordable veterinary care to encourage “forever homes.” for animals.

Barbara will be buried at Riverside Cemetery in Norwalk. A private interment will be held.

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