Olean-Barbara Krompart Chew
Barbara Krompart Chew died peacefully on August 7, 2022. She was the daughter of Huburt and Marie (Hull) Krompart. She was formerly married to E. Norvil Chew.
She is survived by her sister, Lisbeth (Libby) Keenan, Olean, and her eight children: Deborah Rotman (Sam), Mesa, AZ, Richard Chew (Carol), Allegany, Janet Chew (Andy Dickson), Jamestown, Mark Chew (Elaine), Cincinnati, OH, Michael Chew (Christina Euston), Olean, Barbara Brady (Jim), Sanibel Island, FL, Barton Chew (Kay Petronio), Cold Spring, and Charlotte Chew, Nashville, TN.
She is also survived by her fifteen grandchildren: Simeon Rotman, Anna Rotman, and Sarah Parker, Benjamin Chew and Thomas Chew, Ashley Griffith and Charles Chew, Julianne Roulo, Alexandra Brady and Christopher Brady, Eleanor Chew and Sam Chew, Harrison Sturm, Hayden Sturm and Isabella Sturm and fourteen great grandchildren. She is also survived by her nine nieces and nephew: James Keenan, Karen Lewis, Patricia Brunsing, Christopher Keenan, Terry Keenan, Timothy Keenan, Michael Keenan, Susan Keenan and Barbara Porro.
She was a long-standing resident of Olean and lived by the words of Shirley Chisholm, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” She personified this through her activism as the President of the League of Women Voters of Cattaraugus County and was the Editor of the NYS Voter, which is the newsletter of the League of Women Voters of New York State. She was on the Board of Directors of the Cattaraugus Community Foundation, Cattaraugus Development Corporation, and the Olean Historical and Preservation Society. She had a deep love of music and served on the Board of the Chamber of Music Society of Olean and was the past president of the Friends of Good Music.
She entered the labor force when her youngest daughter was fledgling. She worked for the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board. She then became the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Cattaraugus County and held that position until she retired in 2006. She expanded the services offered to the community in an effort to destigmatize mental illness. These included Camp New Horizons, a writing club, and Walk in the Park that identified famous people who suffered from mental illness. She also served on the Board of New Directions.
Her community efforts were recognized by the City of Olean with the LOUIS award, Salute to Olean, and Enchanted Mountain Business and Professional Women Woman of the Year. She was also recognized by the State of NY as a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the NYS Office of Mental Health’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Barbara was an amazing seamstress. She was known to bring her knitting to board meetings especially during times when she was having grandchildren. She was a prolific reader as seen by her personal library and the hours she spent at the Olean Public Library. She loved art and would fill her home with art work borrowed from the library as well as her own collection. She loved nature and in particular the Olean trail and Allegany State Park. She loved her annual wild flower walks with her family. She was an avid Bridge player. Her home was full of children, art, classical music (though she was a Beatle fan as well), her own piano playing, and love.
A memorial gathering will be held at the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, 646 East State Street, Olean on Thursday, August 11, 2022, from 4pm-6pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Olean Public Library 134 N 2nd Street, Olean, NY, League of Women Voters of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties 100 Fairview Avenue, Olean, NY, and Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care, 20 West Fairmount Avenue, Lakewood, NY 14750. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.