Josephine May (Graham) Barringer

May 12, 1932 ~ March 31, 2019 (age 86)

Josephine May Graham Barringer of Chatsworth, NJ. Born May 12, 1932. Died March 31, 2019.  Survived by husband of 68 years George and four sons; George Jr. and Nancy Barringer of Groton, MA, Kenneth and Elizabeth Barringer of Wayne, Pa, James and Barbara Barringer of Pine Hill, NJ, and Thomas Barringer of Chatsworth, NJ; sister Emma; seven grandchildren; Brielle, Jamie, Jessie, Ned, Ian, Isabelle, and Graham; and three great grandchildren; Julia, Rueben, and Alex.  Known as Mae, she was born in Dilworthtown, PA and spent her childhood in the Presbyterian Children's Village of Philadelphia. She moved to New Jersey with her husband in her early twenties after building their house by hand on weekends. The homestead still serves as the family home to this present day.  An animal lover, active gardener, environmentalist and quilter, Mae was known for raising Airedale terriers, birdwatching, a diverse vegetable and rock garden made from roadside wildflowers and rocks from journeys around America, her homemade preserves and canned goods, and museum quality quilts. She was an activist working with local conservation groups, state, and federal agencies since 1964 to raise awareness of the unique characteristics and value of the New Jersey Pine Barrens surrounding her home and worked tirelessly for decades for protective legislation for this area. She was the chairperson for The Pine Barrens Coalition made up from concerned citizens to domestic and international ecology and wildlife conservation groups and a leader of the effort to pass the 1978 National Parks and Recreation Act in the US Congress which created the Pineland National Reserve and the following Pinelands Protection Act which was ceremonially signed by New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne at her urging at Buzby's General Store in Chatsworth, NJ. She went on to receive numerous environmental awards for her efforts to protect the future UNESCO designated U.S. Biosphere Reserve in 1983 and International Biosphere Reserve in 1988.  She was an accomplished musician playing piano and clarinet. During her youth she played as organist and pianist at several churches in Cape May Point where she stayed at an orphanage summer home. It was in Bartram High School's (Philadelphia) marching band where she was a clarinet player that met her future husband George.  In her later years she discovered and became immersed in quilting producing scores of quilts and wall hangings, showing her quilts and winning awards in local and regional quilt shows, teaching quilting to newcomers, and was part of a quilting circle of friends and neighbors, as well as serving as president of the Berry Basket quilting group.  A lifelong lover of travel and learning, she organized frequent trips to cultural activities in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and New York and family camping trips spanning most of the continental US and eastern Canada. History, environment, culture and arts were emphasized for sons and herself. Later trips with her husband took her to the Caribbean, the West Coast, Hudson Bay Canada, Alaska, Iceland, England, Wales, Scotland, Western Europe, and western and eastern Russia.  Relatives and friends are invited to greet the family on Saturday, May 4th from 11:30 – 12:30 pm at the BRADLEY & STOW FUNERAL HOME, 127 Medford-Mt. Holly Road, Medford, New Jersey, where a Memorial Service will be held on Saturday at 12:30 PM.  Interment will be private and at the convenience of the family.  In lieu of other expressions of sympathy the family requests donation to the NJ Conservation Foundation, C/O PO Box 1542, Medford, New Jersey  08055.  (

Donations may be made to:

Euguene R. Powell Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 1542, Medford NJ 08055

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