Barbara Ann (Rackliffe) Harkness
April 11, 2016

Barbara Ann (Rackliffe) Harkness, 62, of Smithfield, passed away on Monday, April 11, 2016 following her long battle with scleroderma.

Barbara grew up in Lincoln, raised by her parents Donald and Florence Rackliffe, and growing up with her older brother, John.  She was generally a well-behaved child but was known to occasionally skip classes at Lincoln High School and go skiing at Diamond Hill in a bikini.  The Limerock native got into more trouble when she met Normand Harkness from the Lonsdale side of town.  This resulted in a 43 year marriage and sons Shawn and Eric, and daughter Heather.

While she spent most of her time in the 1980’s focusing on her family, she worked part-time selling Dutchmaid clothing at home parties and working in real estate. This was also a period where she volunteered for almost every organization associated with her children, whether it was Girl Scouts, PTA or the Sentinel Striders running club. She became a master of perfectly prepared s’mores for bake sales while her family feasted on ends and corners.  She would never admit to it but she was a good cook, despite her meal options being "Take it" or "Leave it."  Barbara also had a recipe for Spam Casserole to prove there is an exception to every rule.

Once her kids were grown, Barbara returned to the Community College of Rhode Island to earn her degree and began a career in magazine distribution.  She also began to travel with cross-country road trips in the Corvette and vacations around the world.  Barbara saw her son Shawn marry Deana Zeter and son Eric marry DesNeiges Bolduc.  She also cherished her time with her granddaughter, Grace, and thought the world of her.  Barbara also anxiously awaited the upcoming arrival of her second grandchild from Eric and DesNeiges.

Barbara also leaves behind friends over the years too numerous to count.  These range from childhood friendships she maintained for decades to casual acquaintances she touched in some way over the years.  Whether it was sunny, cloudy, warm or cold she loved visiting the beach.  She enjoyed her book club and the resulting conversations that took place at meetings.  Barbara had an upbeat outlook on life and always found a reason to laugh and enjoy herself.  She left us far sooner than any of us would have liked but we can all be thankful for however long or short we got to be a part of her life.  Please celebrate it accordingly.

A Celebration of Barbara’s life will be held on Friday, April 22, 2016 from 5:00-8:00 pm at Lincoln Funeral Home, 1501 Lonsdale Avenue, Lincoln. Flowers are respectfully omitted. 

Those wishing to do so may make a donation in Barbara’s memory to Scleroderma Foundation New England, 300 Rosewood Drive, Suite 105, Danvers, MA 01923. 


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Lincoln Funeral Home
1501 Lonsdale Avenue
Lincoln, RI 02865

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