Barbara Gorman Aylward passed away peacefully on July 9, 2019, at her home in Livermore, Calif., following a brief illness.
She was born on June 2, 1935, to William Basil Gorman and Esther Kinsley Gorman of the Bronx, New York City, and was the youngest of four children. The Gormans moved to suburban Westchester County in the early 1940s, but shortly after Barbara’s mother died. Her father remarried Patricia McGowan, in whom the children gained a new mom, and then two adored younger siblings.
Barbara loved the water from an early age, eagerly swimming in Long Island Sound the summer she turned 1! She became an accomplished diver and graduated from Rye High School. She went on to Tufts University and received a BS from Tufts/Bouve-Boston School of Physical Education and Physical Therapy in 1957. While working as a Physical Therapist at Boston Children’s Hospital, she met Walter Joseph Aylward of Medford, Mass., and they married in 1959. They moved to California, living in San Francisco and Santa Barbara before settling in Fremont where the Aylwards would live for more than 50 years. As Walt established his law practice, Barb worked as a PT for UCSF, Stanford Children’s Hospital and several practices in Fremont.
Barb and Walt had four children, and Barb was the master of the family’s busy schedule. She served as a leader in PTA as well as for several swim and soccer teams, while also wrangling a menagerie of pets over the years ― including a dog, cats, fish, turtles, rabbits, a hamster, a parakeet and an iguana!
The door to the Aylward home in California was always open, as had been the Gorman family home in Rye. As the kids grew, Barb and Walt hosted club meetings and homecoming skit rehearsals, welcomed an exchange student, foreign soccer players, adopted nieces and nephews eager to try out the west coast, and provided a place for dozens of young adults to stop over as they settled into life. Soon grandchildren energized the house. Walt and Barb enjoyed traveling to Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Japan and Hong Kong.
Barb kept her PT license for 53 years, working vacation relief for practices in town, and found it a great way to stay connected to friends and the career she loved. Her Catholic faith steadied Barb throughout her life. She was a Eucharistic Minister at St. Joseph Church, and was involved with the Women of St. Joseph. After Walt’s death in 1995, Barb shifted her energy to chair the Committee for Restoration of Mission San Jose, completing a $1.25 million dollar seismic retrofit of one of the original adobe buildings from the early 1800s. She led docent tours at the mission for over 28 years, and spent many years as the Docent Coordinator. About 10 years ago, Barb was invited by a friend who attended St. Charles Borromeo in Livermore to join her for a lecture at the Women in God’s Spirit (WINGS) group. As she got to know the community, she also found a wonderful retirement apartment complex at Heritage Estates and made the move from Fremont to Livermore in 2016. Not surprising to anyone, Barb was active in WINGS as the meeting moderator, and at Heritage Estates as a member of the social committee, coordinating the address list and handling "chief bartender" duties for social events!
Barbara is survived by her sisters Joan Carey and Patricia (John) Richardson; brother Peter (Linda) Gorman; sister-in-law Betty Jane Gorman (Bill, deceased); children Kathleen (Lyle) Langan, Peter Aylward, and Aileen (Brad) Hammar; daughter-in-law Florence Aylward (Michael, deceased); grandchildren Jason, Jeannea, James (Melissa), and Fiona; great-grandchildren Isac Jr, Santiago, Luca and Jillian; exchange student Florian (Bettina); and dozens of nieces, nephews and other relatives and dear friends. Barbara was preceded in death by her husband Walter, son Michael, brother Bill and sister Dorothy.
SERVICE: Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 14, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 1315 Lomitas Ave., Livermore.
Contributions may be made to the following groups (please include the specific cause and “Barbara Aylward” on the memo line) or to one of your own choice: Community Interfaith Student Support Program (CISSP) at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 1315 Lomitas Ave., Livermore, CA 94550 (provides backpacks of school supplies and a gift card for shoes to children and youth); Sister John Marie’s Pantry at St. Joseph Catholic Church, PO Box 3276, Fremont, CA 94539 (provides food and support to meet concrete needs for those of all ages); Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments (SAVE) - visit save-dv.org, then select SUPPORT SAVE FAMILIES! to make a contribution.