Obituary of Barbara Anne Preston
Barbara A. Preston, 81
July 30, 1942 - November 3, 2023
Barbara Anne (Hart) Preston, a beloved mother, legal secretary, dedicated school board member, and restaurant hostess in Wildwood, NJ, died peacefully on November 3, surrounded by her family. She was 81.
She was born July 30, 1942 at home in Roxborough, Philadelphia, PA — the oldest of seven children. Her father, Robert B. Hart, was a steel worker at the time. Her mother, Edith M. Boone, came from a proud family of steel workers, who worked for Carnegie Steel in the Pencoyd foundry down the hill in Manayunk.
On December 31, 1943, Barbara’s father enlisted in the U.S. Army, and fought in WWII. When he returned home, the family moved to Andrews Avenue in Wildwood to start a new life. Robert became a tile-setter, and the family moved again, to Crocus Avenue in Wildwood Crest.
Barbara walked to the Philip P. Baker Elementary School, the first educational facility in Wildwood Crest, built in 1928. She was a gifted storyteller from a young age.
Barbara was only nine years old when her father died in 1951. She was young, but mighty, and a tremendous help caring for her siblings.
She and her family were members of the Crest Community Church in the 1950s. She walked her younger brothers and sister to church every Sunday.
Barbara went on to graduate from Wildwood High School, Class of 1960. In her teenage years, she enjoyed spending time with friends at the Starlight Ballroom on the boardwalk and attending dances at Crest Pier.
Barbara spent every sunny summer day on the beach with her four young children and her best friends. These simple days were among the happiest times in her life, she would later say.
Barbara was elected to the Wildwood Board of Education, serving from 1975 to 1993 (18 years), and achieved the position of vice president. She was a soft-spoken, thoughtful leader who wanted the best education possible for students.
Many will remember her as the hostess at Alfe’s restaurant. She loved the Alfe family and considered them her own.
She is survived by four children: Barbara A. Preston; John J. Preston III; Susan L. Cafiero; and Daniel R. Preston.
She is also survived by five siblings: Richard Hart; Edith “Dee” Mills; Ron Hart; George Hart; and Douglas Larson. Her brother, Robert J. Hart, died in Wildwood Crest in 2018.
Barbara dearly loved her 10 grandchildren: Wade Preston, Beau Preston, Belinda Newton, Anna Reinalda, Jackson Preston, Patrice Cafiero, Andrew Cafiero, Preston Cafiero, Abbey Preston, and Cooper Preston.
A memorial service will be held at Crest Community Church, 5901 Pacific Ave., Wildwood Crest on Monday, November 20, at 11 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory are being accepted by More Than Enough food pantry (www.crestcommunitychurch.com/index.php/donate-mte/). ■
Condolences may be sent to ingersollgreenwoodfh.com■To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara Preston, please visit Tribute Store