December 29, 2021
Barbara Podann departed for the Rainbow Bridge December 29, 2021. Barbara was born in 1949 to the late Fred and Mary Sawyer. Barbara grew up in Wethersfield and had a comfortable childhood filled with boat trips and family vacations. She had one brother, Thomas. In 1980 Barbara married William Podann, who was literally the boy next door. She sewed her own dress and loved to show people her wedding album. Bill was an avid hunter who brought home game birds, which Barbara cooked. They purchased a house in Cromwell, where they lived together until Bill passed away. Barbara continued to live there until 2021. Barbara spent her work life with the State of Connecticut. Bill arranged to have her transferred to the Motor Vehicle Department, where he was an inspector. She worked in the Wethersfield main office until her retirement. Sometime around 1990, Barbara’s aunt found a ferret in her yard. Barbara agreed to take it in and thus began her intense love affair with ferrets. In 1992 she found the Ferret Association and became involved so she could learn more about her pets. She became a significant supporter of the shelter. While Bill had a hunting dog, Barbara preferred her ferrets! She volunteered to take in many old or ill animals that arrived in the shelter. Those Foster ferrets became her special charges, although she was careful not to have more than she could handle. Barbara created a special fund with the Hartford Foundation to benefit the Ferret Association. Early on, when a ferret passed away, Barbara would need to wait a bit before seeking another. Eventually she learned a good way to heal her own grief was to love another ferret and would ask right away who in the shelter “needed her.” The ferrets were Barbara’s children and each one who passed was cremated, with the ashes returned to her. She wanted each in her casket and even verified with the cemetery that would be OK. Never very outgoing, other volunteers and members of the Ferret Association became Barbara’s community. She declared once she retired she would come to volunteer and she kept her word! The Association connected Barbara with other volunteers so she would have companionship. Some of her earliest ferret friends were Sandy Burke and Patricia Caulkins. After these ladies, Barbara began working with Kary Ann Fontaine, then Dorene August. The latter two kind people became important supports when a stroke hit Barbara in 2017 and she could no longer drive. They gave her rides to the shelter and ordered groceries delivered. A long-term friend of Barbara’s, Edward Skowronek, was also an invaluable help. When physical aid became necessary to keep Barbara at home, a new ferret volunteer, Lauren Fass, was enlisted. Lauren did a wonderful job bringing her for tests and exams that hadn’t been done in years. Lauren even got the hearing aids Barbara insisted weren’t needed. (They were!) Sadly, even with assistance, it became unsafe for Barbara to live alone. In early 2021 Barbara moved into assisted living. She was a favorite for making jokes and her cheerful demeanor (other than being crabby when she first awoke.) Barbara loved a few things above all: her childhood plush toy, Teddy Spaghetti, her blue Dodge Durango (that she’d chosen herself); Peanut’s cartoons (especially Woodstock & Snoopy); and ferrets. Barbara will be laid to rest in a blue casket with Teddy Spaghetti, Snoopy jammies, a Ferret Association sweatshirt, and a handmade wooden box containing ashes from all of her ferrets. We know Barbara is again playing with her beloved pets and chatting away with Sandy and Patty. In keeping with Barbara’s stated wishes, the Ferret Association is creating a special fund, Barbara’s Gifts. Barbara was always concerned for ferrets who needed veterinary care but whose owners couldn’t afford it. This fund will let low-income owners apply for help to pay their ferret’s medical expenses. There will be two opportunities to pay respects to Barbara. On Monday, January 10 at 10 am, people can gather at Rose Hill Funeral Home in Rocky Hill and be directed to her plot for a graveside internment. Those who choose may meet after at Town Line Diner in Rocky Hill for coffee and to share memories. On Saturday, January 29, the Ferret Association will host a luncheon repast in Barbara’s honor, held at the shelter in Hartford, from noon to 2 pm. In case of significant snow, the repast will be postponed until Sunday, Jan. 30. Interfaith minister Matthew Guiliano will offer a few words. Cards and memorial donations may be sent to the Ferret Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, at 14 Sherbrooke Avenue, Hartford, CT, 06106. Please include your name and address so they can be acknowledged.
Barbara Podann departed for the Rainbow Bridge December 29, 2021. Barbara was born in 1949 to the late Fred and Mary Sawyer. Barbara grew up in Wethersfield and had a comfortable childhood filled with boat trips and family vacations. She had... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
Barbara Podann departed for the Rainbow Bridge December 29, 2021....View More
Flowers & Gifts
Send flowers to the Podann family.Send Flowers