Obituary of Barbara Howland McInerny
Age 97, days short of her 98th birthday, passed away on Saturday, January 6, 2024. Barb was born in Sayre PA, a daughter of Wayne and Elizabeth Sherman Howland. She lived in “The Valley” during her preteen years before her family moved to Elmira. She was a graduate of Elmira Free Academy. Once out of high school, she worked in Washington DC for the FBI during the end of WW II. Moving back to Elmira, she married Tom McInerny on May 29, 1946. They soon started their family and over a 17-year period the family grew from one child to 13 children. In the early years of her marriage, she worked for New York Telephone and then for Chemung Canal Trust Company. In 1955 she and Tom moved to 113 Walnut Street where Tom started the Thomas McInerny Funeral Home. With 6 children already in the family it was quite an effort to get the funeral home prepared for services when “a call” came in. The kids would all have to stay upstairs, and be quiet, while the downstairs front of the home was used for the public. The family kept growing and by the time Barb had her 10th child it was time to find a bigger home! With Tom working full time for Schweizer Aircraft, and at the funeral home when a service came in, Barb was working twice as hard raising the 13 kids. The washer and dryer were always running with another load of laundry. Oatmeal was a staple for breakfast and the kids were sent to school with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Dinner was something that you didn’t want to be late for because there might not be anything left (especially the dessert) after a houseful of hungry kids had sat down to eat. Barb was a fierce defender of her children. If there was trouble, it was always someone else’s fault, it couldn’t be one of her kids! Her favorite child was the one who was most in trouble at the time!
Over the years Barb and Tom were avid bowlers and card players. They belonged to the Elmira Elks Lodge and were part of a card club. Barb was a big Frank Sinatra and Robert Goulet fan. She enjoyed playing Scrabble and more often than not she would be the winner of the game. The quintessential “cat lady”, Barb had numerous cats over the years and was also quite fond of dogs. For the past several years her daughter Linda was her primary caregiver, for which Linda’s siblings will forever be grateful. This allowed Barb to stay in her home, happily surrounded by her six furry friends.
Barb is predeceased by her husband Tom, daughter Barbara Jo McInerny; grandsons, John “Jack” and Terence McInerny; sisters, Marion “Mimi” (Robert “Buster”) Gordon and Elizabeth “Betty” Holmes; son-in-law Timothy Webster. She is survived by her children, Linda K. McInerny, Kathleen A. Amisano (Michael), Wendy H. Webster, Thomas M. McInerny (Ellie), Kevin C. McInerny (Eileen), William P. McInerny (Mary), Matthew P. McInerny (fiancée Mary Woods), Justin T. McInerny (April), Mary E. Collins (Mick), Brian F. McInerny (Angela), Martin P. McInerny (Kim Hughes) and Bridgid C. Murphy (Matt); 35 grandchildren, 51 great grandchildren, a great-great granddaughter, along with many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to McInerny Funeral Home on Monday, January 15, 2024 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. A funeral service for Barb will be held at St. Patrick’s Church, 604 Park Place, Elmira, on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. A livestream of the Mass will be available through the Facebook page for Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish (https://www.facebook.com/ElmiraCatholic). Committal prayers and burial will follow at St. Peter & Paul’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the SPCA, 2435 Route 352, Elmira NY 14903.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara McInerny, please visit Tribute Store
In Loving Memory
1926 - 2024
Since our founding, the guiding principle of McInerny Funeral Home has been the commitment to treating each family who comes to us as our own. With sincerity, pride, and dedication, we are committed to this time-honored tradition
McInerny Funeral Home
502 W Water St,
Elmira, NY 14905
Phone (607) 733-6271
Fax (607) 733-7526