Belchertown/South Hadley- Barbara J. Mendoza, 87, died on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, peacefully at home. Born in Great Barrington, MA, on September 14, 1934, she was the daughter of Paul and Marion T. (Sirrine) Collin of Housatonic, MA.
Barbara dedicated over 40 years to the Hampshire County 4-H Horse Programs and received State recognition for her outstanding volunteer work and leadership in 4-H, youth, and development programs. She founded and was the Club Leader of the Granby 4-H Horse Clubs for many years and then kept active in the 4-H horse programs as a committee member, 4-H horse show steward, and 4-H supporter. She had a lifelong love of horses which became a family passion, as all three daughters became 4-H horse club members and showed horses throughout their youth and into their adult years. Barbara enjoyed watching the western channel on TV. She loved them all, but Gunsmoke was her favorite. Barbara was also the manager of the Bess Eaton Donuts in Holyoke, MA, for many years. In her younger days, she enjoyed bowling and archery with her husband.
Barbara was predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Frank G. Mendoza, and is survived by her three daughters; Kim Mendoza of Belchertown; Lori Mendoza of Ludlow; Marci Ryder and her husband, Scott, of Ludlow; and her three grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister-in-law, Barbara Morrissette, and nephews, JR Morrissette, and Brian Morrissette, all from Rhode Island.
Visitation will be held Monday, December 20th from 4-7 pm at the Beers & Story South Hadley Funeral Home. Burial will be held privately at the MA Veterans' Memorial Cemetery in Agawam at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Barbara's name to the Hampshire County 4-H Horse, c/o Ann Blizniak, 139 East St. Hadley, MA 01035.