Barbara Porzio, cherished daughter of Robert and Marguerite Cavalier Porzio died July 19, 2023 in Lady Lake, Florida. She was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 11, 1936 and attended P.S. #164. Barbara was an intelligent child and having observed her teachers, decided she would one day become one.
At the age of five, she determined she wanted to live in the magical place known as Florida. She visited Miami with her mother and other family members in 1941. They stayed across the street from Musa Isle and she was captivated by the Indians, the tropical foliage and Halloween festivities and costumes. By 1949, Barbara, her father and extended family members were Florida residents. She had accomplished one goal!
She attended Ada Merritt Junior High and graduated early from Miami Senior High in 1953. With her father’s encouragement, she enrolled at the University of Miami. Barbara was a skilled artist at a young age and decided to major in art. At some point, she determined she needed a degree with a ready career path. She chose education, graduating from the University of Miami in 1957. Barbara’s first professional position was as an art teacher at Opa Locka Elementary and Westview Elementary, both in Miami-Dade County. Several years later she had her own second grade classroom at Westview. She was so very kind and a memorable teacher for many youngsters. In 1968, her principal at Westview, Dr. Joseph Galocy asked her to move with him to Edison Park Elementary. Later she taught at Palm Lakes Elementary in Hialeah.
Barbara furthered her education with a Master’s degree from Barry College in Miami Shores, graduating in 1973. She continued to work in many different roles as a Title I instructor and math resource teacher.
She became assistant principal of Olympia Heights Elementary under Mr. Cliff Herrman. Many students continued to stay in touch through the years with Ms. Porzio and she absolutely relished hearing from her former students.
Retirement came in the mid-1990s and a new career was around the corner. She moved to Summerfield, Florida where she became immersed in the art world! She joined an art guild in Ocala and made many like-minded friends. Barbara was chosen to paint three horses for Horse Fever. Her talent as a watercolorist was recognized by her admissions to art shows, commissions and numerous awards. Many homes are enhanced with her works of art. Her years as an artist gave her so much joy. Art and beautiful objects spoke to Barbara’s soul.
Barbara was predeceased by her parents, her companion, Edward Assad, cousin, Edward Gary Assad and companion, William Rogers.
Barbara is survived by her sister-cousin, Helen Grimes. They were raised together in New York and Florida. Helen’s sons, John and James survive her. She is also survived by her cousin Donna Lamont, whom she raised for a number of years, and Donna’s husband and son, Bill and Wyatt Lamont. Donna took exceptional care of Barbara during her last illness. Robert Bell, another cousin, was close to Barbara and spoke to her weekly. She so appreciated those calls. Additional cousins include Richard Assad and Susan Assad.
Barbara had many friends including her best friend, Rosemarie Jaworski, from Edison Park days and the second grader who never left her, Elizabeth Newkerk.
She will forever be loved and missed.
Services are private. Arrangements entrusted with BALDWIN BROTHERS Funeral & Cremation Society-Spanish Springs, 352-430-1449. Sentiments are encouraged at www.baldwincremation.com.