It is with a heavy heart we announce Barbara Clare Richter passed away at the age of 59 after a brief and serious battle with brain cancer. Barbara will be greatly missed. She touched the lives of so many people in her abbreviated time with us. In addition to her family, she had many friends including fellow choir members at Newman, art students, families of students in her children’s music studios and colleagues with DADS architectural design group in Durham. Barbara squeezed more out of each day than most of us could hope to in a lifetime. She was a tremendous force of nature and a great lover of family, art, music, a good laugh, reading books, raising children, architecture, making jokes and discussing ideas ranging from urban planning to current events. Barbara was always creating things like children’s dresses, paintings, soap and clay sculptures. Even up to the final months when she lost the strength in her left arm and leg, she worked on writing with her left hand. (“Lazy Leonardo” she called it). She continually worked on improving herself with reading, exploring ideas and recovery programs, and she shared freely and generously what she had learned with everyone.
Barbara was born in Metuchen, NJ and spent the majority of her childhood in Annandale, VA. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry in 1985, and Masters of Architecture in 1988. After graduating, she moved to New Mexico to pursue painting for a few years, moved to Durham briefly and then settled in Chapel Hill for the last 25 years.
Barbara was an accomplished architect and business owner of Richter Norton Architecture where she made beautiful remodels of residential homes. She also worked with the Wes Lachot Design Group on world class music-recording studios. Barbara was a prolific artist and could always be found with a sketchbook and pen in hand. She had several art shows displaying her beautiful paintings and drawings. Barbara loved to play the piano — especially duets with her siblings — and taught herself to play the flute. Her children are all highly talented musicians.
Barbara was the proud mother of her three “beautiful and brilliant” children and three grandsons who were the light of her life. Her children are Frances, Genevieve (Michael) and James (Sasha) with grandchildren William, Caleb, and Abraham. Barbara is survived by her parents, Bill and Clare Richter. She is also survived by her beloved siblings: Kate, Bill (Kathleen), Pat (Michele), Ed (Rebecca), Karoline (Lewis) and Helen (Greg). She is survived by her nieces and nephews whom she adored, Taylor (Kathryn), Tucker (Koleia and children Azucena and Otto), Dixie, Ben, Eddie, Eva, Marion (Brian), Alice, Brooklyn, Yvonne, Naomi, Rosemarie, Margaret, Julia, Iris and Ruth.
Special thanks to the wonderful nurses and doctors at UNC Healthcare. Thank you so much for your devoted care of our dear Barbara. In lieu of sending flowers, please consider making a donation to UNC Cancer Hospital, 101 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. (or use the link on the left).
A memorial Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 2:00 pm in the Newman Catholic Student Center, 218 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill, Friar Bill Robinson officiating.
The family will receive visitors Wednesday, November 4, 2020 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm at Walker's Funeral Home, 120 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC, with a Rosary Service beginning at 6:30 p.m. Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed.
The Richter family is under the care of Walker's Funeral Home of Chapel Hill.