Barbara Engel Pyle, Age 88, of Merritt Island, Florida Passed Away March 20
By Space Coast Daily // April 19, 2022
Barbara had a zest for life, Her passion was being surrounded by family and friends
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Barbara Engel Pyle, age 88, of Merritt Island, Florida passed away on Sunday, March 20, 2022. Barbara was born on November 1st, 1933.
Barbara was predeceased by her husband of 50 years, George Robert Pyle, grandson Lucas Pyle and friend Robert Becker; she is survived by her five children, their spouses, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In addition to raising her children, Barbara started her career earning degrees from both Cobleskill College, NY and SUNY Oswego, NY. She taught early education and special education until 1967 when she was hired as the first woman in New York State to start an agency solely devoted to the care and education of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
She started teaching in the basement of a church in Wayne County, NY with a few children and as the agency grew, she was promoted to the position of Executive Director. After 17 years, when she decided to move to Florida, the agency had grown to include children and adults with on-the-job training, work programs, group homes, schools, adult care, and job placement.
In 1984, she resigned and relocated to Merritt Island, Florida, where she started a 30-year career at Bridges BTC, an organization serving intellectually, physically and developmentally challenged adults.
The goal was to see that every individual was able to reach their full potential. Barbara was instrumental in case management, center activities, job placement and social services. She was also active in community events and fundraising.
When she retired at the young age of 80, she was the Director of Social Services and Transportation.
Barbara loved her work and was a strong advocate for anyone in need of assistance. She made sure that her clients would always come first. She considered anyone who entered her path as family; she was active with the Kiwanis Club and started the first Aktion Club for Brevard County.
In 2001 she was awarded Kiwanis Club Citizen of the Year, a truly earned award for all the energy and effort she devoted to those who needed help.
During her storied career, she was recognized several times by the media including Florida Today newspaper for her volunteerism and giving heart. She received many awards for the dedication, devotion and compassion she showed to her clients, both in New York and in Florida. She was active in the Moose Lodge, earning Senior Regent for the Merritt Island Chapter.
When Barbara wasn’t working or volunteering, she had a flair for entertaining and cooking. She loved themed parties and would host and/or organize many. She loved any excuse to be creative or to dress in costume. She enjoyed cruises, antiques and lighthouses.
She was an avid book reader and belonged to a book club. She lived on the water and would enjoy watching the space launches go off or the dolphins swimming by. She was full of life and was always willing to try new adventures, such as Scuba diving; her passion was being surrounded by family and friends. Holidays and family gatherings were always special to her.
Her friends and “family” at the agency were always her number one concern and she would dedicate hours to their needs. She was one that would always help the ones that could not help themselves.
Barbara had a zest for life and in her last few years developed wonderful relationships and looked forward to playing Rummikub and Bingo as much as she could with her friends. She will be truly missed; she enriched the lives of everyone that knew her and was deeply loved by all.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of Barbara E. Pyle to:
■ Brevard Humane Society Merritt Island Adoption Center, 155 Pioneer Road, Merritt Island, Florida 32953; BrevardHumaneSociety.org
■ Bridges Adult Day Training Program (ADT), 1694 Cedar Street, Rockledge, Florida 32955
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at FloridaMemorialFH-Gardens.com for the Pyle family.