Barbara Acocelli, 87, of Westborough


Barbara Bickford AcocelliOct. 2, 1936 – April 15, 2024

Westborough – Barbara Bickford Acocelli, age 87, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 15, 2024, at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

Born in Lewiston, Maine, she was the daughter of Milan L. Bickford and Dorothy (Lane) Bickford. Following the loss of her parents, Barbara, along with her brother, found a loving home with Carroll and Louise Sudds, alongside foster sisters Nancy Morris and Jean Goding, from 1952 through high school. She graduated from Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine in 1954 and later completed a two-year degree in Retail Merchandising at Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

In her early career, Barbara worked as a buyer in the children’s department at G. Fox Department Store in Hartford, Connecticut. It was there that she met the love of her life, John Acocelli, while he was working in the stock room and attending UConn. They married in 1959 and embarked on a journey that took them to Connecticut, New Jersey, and eventually settling in Whitinsville, Massachusetts from 1968 to 1994, where they raised their family.

Barbara made significant contributions during her career in banking, holding various positions at Peoples Bank from 1977 to 1994, including branch manager in Worcester and North Grafton. After retiring in 1994, she and John relocated to Sarasota, Florida, where they relished in the warm weather and beautiful beaches. Even in retirement, Barbara continued to work part-time in banking as a loan officer.

In March 2020, Barbara and John moved back to New England to be closer to family, residing in Westborough, Massachusetts at The Highlands until her passing.

Barbara cherished her family above all else. She is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, John Acocelli, and their two sons, Craig P. Acocelli with his wife Cynthia J. Acocelli of Sutton, Massachusetts, and Dean J. Acocelli with his wife Krista M. Acocelli, also of Sutton. She leaves behind four grandchildren – Cole, Dustin, Gavin, and Claire Acocelli, as well as nephews George Bickford IV of Sabattus, Maine, and Garrett Bickford with his wife Melissa and their two children of Loveland, Ohio, and great-nephews Nathan Perkins with his wife Dawn, Milan Bickford with his wife Andrea and their children, and Dylan Bickford of Maine.

Barbara was predeceased by her parents, her brother, George L. Bickford III, and Kimberly Bickford, wife of her nephew George Bickford IV.

Barbara’s interests and passions were deeply rooted in spending quality time with her family. From cooking and baking to enjoying family activities like beach outings, camping, card games and cheering on local sports teams, she found joy in every moment shared. She was an active volunteer in Scouting while her sons were involved in Cub & Boy Scouts, demonstrating her commitment to her family and community. Barbara was a dedicated member of the Village Congregational Church during her time in Whitinsville.

She was smart, persistent, and detail-oriented, Barbara’s love and dedication to her family knew no bounds. Her kindness and gratitude were evident to all who knew her. She will be fondly remembered for her unwavering love, her never-ending curiosity, and her selfless devotion to her family. She leaves behind a legacy of warmth, love, and cherished memories that will be treasured by all who were fortunate enough to know her.

A private family service will be held to remember and honor Barbara’s life.

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