Barbara Brooks Pecuch of Buda, Texas passed away on August 2, 2018 after a short but hard fought battle with cancer, just shy of her 83rd birthday. She was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1935 to Ernest and Annie Brooks. Barbara grew up in Richmond Virginia and after high school began working for the Insurance Company of North America (INA). She also began attending college at William & Mary and later Virginia Commonwealth University. Barbara worked for INA for 15 years and became the first female underwriter for that company, and the first woman assigned to travel the State of Virginia for INA. She was also involved in her community as one of the founding members of the Richmond Ballet and an officer of Ginter Park Jr. Women's Club, who at the time, was the only female sponsored local affiliate for Miss America. Barbara also taught dance lessons in the evening at Arthur Murray Dance Studio.
Following her career at INA , Barbara married Al Pecuch who served in the United States Air Force. They moved to Washington D.C. where he was assigned to the Pentagon. She worked as a volunteer for her Richmond Congressman in Washington D.C. until her daughter Ann-Marie was born. In 1970, Al was assigned to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, and the next year her second daughter Stephanie was born. The family then moved to Spangdahlem Air Force Base in Germany. Barbara was very involved in the Officer Wives Club, The Commissary Advisory Board, the Chaplin's Advisory Board and Leader of the Catholic Women's Group. In 1974, the family moved to Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, and to Texas in 1976, where Al was stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base. After moving to Buda, Barbara attended St. Edward's University, the University of Texas and Southwest Texas State University receiving her Bachelor's of Art Degree and a Master's Degree in Education, graduating Summa Cum Laude.
The Pecuch’s became parishioners at Santa Cruz Catholic Church in Buda in 1977 where Barbara remained very active until the time of her death. Barbara served on the first Parish Council, was Director of Religious Education and a member of the Finance Council. When Santa Cruz was expanding to its current location, Barbara was a member of church’s Building Committee. She continued serving on the Building Committee until the time of her death. She was also a member of St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Building Use Coordinator for Santa Cruz, Chairman of the Finance Council, member of the School's Finance Council, an officer of the Altar Society and volunteer in the Religious Education Office. She was selected as one of the first recipients of the Catholic Diocese of Austin's Lumen Gentium Award, "Light of the World" in 2004 for offering her time, talents and making a difference in the life of her parish.
Her commitment to service also extended to the community of Buda. She was President of the Board of Trustees for the Buda Library, Board member of the Buda Senior’s Center, and one of the initial people involved in developing the Hays Athletic Fields in the 1980’s. In 2014, Barbara was honored with the Community Builder Award in recognition for her distinguished service, personal contribution and dedication to the community of Buda, Texas presented by the Buda Masonic Lodge.
Her religious and community commitment, although extensive, paled in comparison to her commitment to family. Barbara was an extraordinary mother and grandmother. She loved spending time with her granddaughters and loved to “show them the world" by taking them and her daughters on trips around the world, traveling to many countries in Europe and as far as Russia! Barbara was a true adventurer and was always ready to see new places. In the last fews years, she traveled to the Holy Land and Middle East on her own and to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Nova Scotia with her beloved sisters. She also loved visiting her family on the East Coast.
Barbara is survived by her loving daughters Ann-Marie Sheely and husband Brian and Stephanie Pecuch of Buda, Texas; granddaughters Jenna and Brooke Sheely; sisters Sandra Meehan and husband Michael, Ann-Marie Davis and husband Rick, Linda Saslowsky and husband Mike, and brother Ernie Brooks; brother-in-law Stephen Pecuch, and many loving nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Al Pecuch, her parents Ernest and Annie Brooks; and her brothers-in-law John Pecuch, Fran Pecuch and wife Blanche, George Pecuch and wife Anne, and sister-in-law Ceil Kish and husband Jess.
Barbara's generous spirit was truly remarkable. Hard work never deterred her and helping others always motivated her. She remains an inspiration to all and was a one of kind individual who will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
A Rosary will be held at 7:00 pm on Sunday, August 5, 2018 at Santa Cruz Catholic Church, 1100 Main Street, Buda, TX 78610. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am on Monday, August 6, 2018 at Santa Cruz Catholic Church in Buda. I lieu of flowers, the family requests that any remembrances be made to Santa Cruz Church St. Vincent DePaul Society, Santa Cruz Building Fund or a charity of your choice. Arrangements by All Faiths Funeral Services, 4360 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX and on-line obituary at www.allfaithsaustin.com