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A Tribute to Barbara Cloud

A regional treasure passes away.

This is a sad day for those of who loved Barbara Cloud and her beautiful and moving style of writing as she passed away on Friday, Sept. 14.

Barbara regularly brought her devoted Pittsburgh Press and Post-Gazette readers back to a better time, a more innocent time, and we loved reminiscing with her. She would tell us of the bygone era in which a lady would don gloves to travel to exciting downtown Pittsburgh, something which is difficult to imagine in this time of the "fashion" of white undershirts worn as outerwear and clothes with gaping holes in them.

Even late in life, Barbara was always stylish, fashionable, and beautiful, her many, many years as Press Fashion Editor serving her well, yet she was never haughty. She related so well to her grateful audience and was  always down to earth, expressing her dismay over the high cost of certain fashions and other goods and
services.

Barbara and my late mother came to know each other well and there was mutual admiration. Both were young, divorced career women with one son at a time that this was not common or popular, Barbara a columnist and reporter, my mother a piano performer and teacher.

Barbara came to the visitation for my mother in 2005, something which I shall never forget. I had the pleasure of corresponding with Barbara countless times, most often regarding our mutual love of the precious dogs that have graced our lives and in response to many of the columns she wrote about how dogs have touched and enriched her life. She told me that her latest, and I believe her last canine treasure, Nash, was acquired when he was the age of seven, which she felt was appropriate, given that she, too, was at that time of advanced age.

Given that she had been absent from the Post-Gazette for a long time, I feared that she was gravely ill. How wonderful that she could be with her beloved son Drew by her side at the end of her life. Readers of her column know that he meant everything to her. Also, thankfully, Barbara was able to enjoy a final week at her favorite place to vacation, Stone Harbor, New Jersey.

Through the years, Barbara Cloud had so many gracious and kind words for the people she came to know and admire. There are not enough superlatives with which to adorn her at this sad time, but there are plenty of tears. Rest in peace, dear Barbara. You left an indelible mark and the world was a better place with you in it. You shall be sorely missed.

Share your memories of Barbara Cloud in the comments below.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Heather September 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Loved her too - she will be missed as well as the brightness she brought into the world.
Cindi Lash September 17, 2012 at 01:29 PM
I had the privilege of working with Barbara at the Press and Post-Gazette. Barbara was all of the things Oren describes above so well—gracious, charming, inquisitive about the world, classically stylish—and funny! Above all, Barbara was truly kind to everyone. She reached out to new colleagues, took the time to notice and compliment their work and maintained those friendships over the years. Thank you, Barbara, for your mentorship, your example and your smile.
William McCloskey September 17, 2012 at 01:45 PM
... What we noticed about Barbara is that she grew out of the dopey old "women's pages" milieu of Zora Unkovich and Clara Herron but was a full-throated journalist. I think she would gag on the "sassy" and "vibrant" vocabulary that characterizes today's so-called style pages at the daily newspapers.

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