Barbara Ann Jablonski was born on July 26, 1936 at Hamot Hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania and was the daughter of Otis E. and Pearl (Smith) Roberts. Barbara passed away quietly with her son by her side on the morning of April 25, 2023.
She grew up in Erie and lived on Pittsburgh Ave. on the north side of 8th St. with her brother Donald E. Roberts. Barbara was always busy with family and friends and enjoyed helping her mother with cooking and canning fruits and vegetables from their victory garden. As she grew up, she had many baby-sitting jobs in her neighborhood, until she got her first job at G.C. Murphy’s in the West Erie Plaza for 52 and ½ cents an hour. She also enjoyed spending time on the weekend watching movie matinees at the Dipson’s Movie Theater. She attended Tracy Elementary on the corner of 12th and Peninsula Dr. and as she grew older moved onto McDowell High School and excelled in short hand typing, mathematics, and had great aspirations on becoming a courtroom stenographer. Barb also enjoyed history class with her favorite teacher, “Cool Coach” Mr. Paul Goll. She learned to play the trumpet and played in the marching band. Years later she took up playing the piano and played for many years. Barbara was part of the first class to graduate from McDowell High School on June 3, 1954 at the McDowell Auditorium. Then she met the love of her life Edward F. Jablonski while he was attending and playing football at Gannon College. A couple of years later, she married the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Jablonski on August 25, 1956 at Holy Rosary Church on 28th and East Ave. in Erie. After the marriage, Barbara’s father Otis, retired after working forty years at the Hammermill Paper Co. He then moved to Bradenton, FL, as well as Barb and Eddy to help with the construction and set up of their new home, such as; draperies, bedding, and quilts. She always enjoyed helping the neighbors decorate their houses and helped them build their own wardrobes. Barb was a wonderful cook and always knew how to create delicious meals using her mother’s recipes and the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. She excelled at Italian cuisine with the help of her best friend and neighbor, Marge Trigillio. If you visited while she was cooking, you never left hungry. Barb always made sure her son’s friends had snacks and drinks while they played together in her yard, swimming pool, or climbing the giant Weeping Willow tree in her backyard. Barb opened her doors to her home to anyone who needed help and was the (BP) block parent for any of the neighborhood children if they had an emergency or needed to use the telephone to call their parents. She was active with the Tracy Elementary PTA while David attended school there and was also the neighborhood Cub Scout Den mother for a few years. Barbara began working for Kelly Girl Temporary Services after her divorce, she worked for many companies like; Copes-Vulcan, Johnson Controls, and Springhurst Home Builders. That led to her long-term employment with the Hamilton Lumber Company, where she excelled at many positions. She started as a telephone operator and adopted positions of inventory control, billing, sales, and payroll for the entire company. She also balanced the yearly budget and computed the taxes. She also worked with I.B.M. on new computer programs and promoting ergonomically designed office furniture. Barb made many friends at Hamilton Lumber while helping her fellow coworkers with educating them on improving financial credit scores, medical insurance, and personal investments. Barb was also involved with the (PNA) Polish National Alliance, Moose Club, and the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Club. She loved going to bowling tournaments with the PNA and enjoyed many activities with family and friends during the holidays, tributes, weddings, and receptions at the Eagles Club. She then developed Meniere’s Disease and had to go on disability due to her loss of hearing in her left ear and poor balance from Vertigo. Later in life she was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation and had pacemaker-defibrillator implant surgery to help her maintain a normal heartbeat. She battled with heart and lung disease for over twenty years, which in turn led to her death.
I would like to thank everyone at LECOM at Presque Isle Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for all their love and support in her later years of life.
Funeral services will be private and held with immediate family members only. Arrangements are under the care of the Dusckas-Martin Funeral Home & Crematory Inc. 4216 Sterrettania Rd. Erie, PA 16506.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Heart Association. www.heart.org/donate