Published in the January 29, 2021 edition.
WAKEFIELD — Mrs. Barbara A. (O’Neil) Thistle, a resident of Wakefield, and formerly longtime of Melrose, passed away peacefully at home in the comfort of her family on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, at age 92.
Barbara was born in Boston on January 4, 1929, daughter of the late Edmund G. and Margaret (Dennehy) O’Neil. She was raised in Brighton where she graduated from Brighton High School, Class of 1946. She was married to Roy Thistle on January 25, 1952 and settled in Melrose to raise a family of three children.
Barbara was first and foremost a mother. She was a constant source of love, strength, and tender care for Roy her three children, all while working for over 35 years. She dutifully balanced raising the family and working as a secretary at Electrolux in Boston, 128 Personnel Consultants (Roy’s business), the Levi Gould Congregational Retirement Homes, and the Melrose Housing Authority. Truly a selfless woman, Barbara centered her life around always putting others first and providing unconditional love and support.
Barbara was her happiest when surrounded by family, cooking her well-known pot roast and gathering together for a holiday meal. She was forever optimistic, shared her positive attitude and frank opinions freely, and always saw the good in people. She embodied the matriarchal warmth of a well-loved Irish grandmother who found the joy in life and others until the end.
Barbara was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church where she was a member of the Semi Circle Women’s Group. At home in Wakefield, she enjoyed working in the yard, or walking around Lake Quannapowitt with late husband Roy. She served as a Cub Scout Den Leader, and for several years later in life, enjoyed making connections at the Milano Senior Center in Melrose where she visited several days a week. She was also an avid Boston sports fan, in particular she loved the Bruins, and Red Sox, and Patriots. But, most of all, Barbara devoted herself to those around her. She will be remembered for her glowing Irish smile that endeared herself to so many, and her innate loving care and unending dedication to her family.
Barbara was the beloved wife of the late Roy Thistle (deceased in 2002) with whom she shared 51 years of marriage. She was the devoted mother of David Thistle and his wife Dawn of Oakham, Heather Chanley and her husband Robert of Wakefield, and Kimberly Wiklund and her husband Dana of Melrose. She was the dear sister of the late Jean Coyne and Edmund O’Neil. She was the cherished grandmother of Zachary Thistle and his wife Allison, Jacob Thistle and his wife Laura, Ryan Wiklund, and Emma Wiklund. She was the loving great-grandmother of Lily, Lincoln, Dominic, Aidan and Cameron. Barbara is also survived by her brother in law Charles Thistle and many nieces and nephews.
Out of respect and concern for public health, services will be held privately for the family. Interment in Forest Glade Cemetery, Wakefield.
If you wish, gifts in Barbara’s memory can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, www.stjude.org  , 501 St. Jude Pl., Memphis, TN 38105. To offer your words of love and support, please visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com