Barbara “Tootsie” Toth Gowers, 81 years of life fully lived, passed away peacefully at Shady Knoll Health Center on Monday, December 20, 2021. Tootsie, as she was affectionately called, was the widow of the late Derek G. Gowers. She was born in Stratford, CT on August 13, 1940, a daughter of the late John A. and Marion (Bilcz) Toth.
Tootsie had a zest for life, an entrepreneur and artist; she never stopped exploring new opportunities. She was always dressed to the nines, had a flair for fashion and would not leave the house without her trademark lipstick and heels. While living in Maine she owned and operated Barbara’s Lingerie of Bath, Maine, as well as working on her art in Boothbay Harbor. At one time she and her husband, Derek, owned “Ted’s Spa”, a landmark luncheonette in the center of Seymour. Early mornings and hard work were no stranger to Tootsie.
Using pastels and watercolors, Tootsie loved painting gardens, seascapes, and her favorite places. She loved her dogs, the ocean, music and dancing, clothes and fashion, and refinishing old furniture. There was no limit to her creativity.
Family was always first for Tootsie. Her daughters Cyndie and Sharon were her best friends. She also enjoyed a close relationship with her stepdaughters, her adored grandchildren, brother and sister, nieces and nephews. She never forgot a birthday and would always be sure to send a card with her love. To Tootsie her dogs were family members too, she spoiled them unconditionally. Tootsie leaves behind a legacy of excitement to explore new opportunities, her dance in the rain attitude and a deep abiding love for her family. Barbara is a testament to the adage,” live life to the fullest”.
Left to cherish her love, life and memory are her daughters Cynthia (Andrew) Merola of Prospect and Sharon (Gordon) Culley of MA, stepdaughters, Xanthe Gowers of London and Nina (Drew) Osbahr of Florida with whom she maintained a close relationship despite geographical distance. She also leaves her adored grandchildren Shannon Ely, Danielle Vance and Trevor Osbahr and great grandchildren Zoe, Zachary and Emilia. Tootsie was one of eight children and shared a special bond with all of her siblings. She leaves her brothers John (Elaine) of New Mexico, James (Lynne) of Oxford, Richard Toth of Watertown, and sister Virginia Toth of Seymour as well as many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews and friends.
Predeceased by her granddaughter Isabelle Merola, her sisters Patricia and Marie and brother Thomas Toth, Barbara cherished every memory and spoke of them often.
Friends and family may visit with Barbara’s family on Thursday, December 30, 2021, at 10 am followed immediately by a memorial service at 11am at Prospect Memorial/ The Palmerie Family Funeral Home, 72 Waterbury Rd., Prospect. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers and in honor of Barbara’s love of animals, donations can be made to https://greatergood.org/good-packs in support of the homeless and their pets or to a local animal shelter of your choosing.