Letitia Dobrin Barsan passed away peacefully on January 31 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Letitia (Tish), was born in Akron, Ohio on May 21, 1921 to Joseph and Anna Dobrin and was the oldest of 3 children. "Tootsie", as she was known to her childhood friends, grew up in Akron and attended Miller School, followed by Garfield High School. After high school, she attended and graduated from the University of Akron. In 1943, Tish married the love of her life, Emil Barsan, to whom she was married for 63 years. She had 5 children from 1945 to 1952, then went back to school to get her teaching certificate and started teaching first grade in 1959. She taught initially at Harris School in Akron, but spent most of her career at Hillcrest Elementary School in Richfield, Ohio until her retirement in 1985. She was a recipient of the Revere Alumni Association Distinguished Educator Award in recognition of her outstanding teaching.
Maya Angelou said "People may forget what you said, people may forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". Tish Barsan will be remembered by everyone she touched by how she made them feel special, loved and respected. As the first generation child of immigrant parents who valued education and hard work, Tish had an amazing work ethic and passed on her love of learning and values to her children, grandchildren and countless students. She had a special love for teaching and cared deeply for every one of her students. She always saw the positive qualities and potential in every child she taught and she never gave up on any student. She was an avid proponent of public education and believed that every child was special and deserved the best education possible, regardless of their background, race or origin. She is remembered dearly by her former students for helping them overcome obstacles in learning and letting them know they could succeed by their hard work. She instilled the love of education and hard work in her children and grandchildren as well and stressed respect for others and the importance of making a difference in the world. She had an amazing memory and would often recognize former students in their thirties and forties who she had not seen since first grade. She, along with Emil, looked for the best in everyone and she was an amazing role model for her children and everyone who knew her. She was a surrogate parent to many of her children's friends, who often found refuge from teenage problems spending time with Tish and getting empathy and emotional support, in addition to lots of food! She had boundless energy and would think nothing of working all day, getting 10 bags of groceries, and then staying up until the wee hours talking with her children and their friends.
After retirement, she and Emil were active in the Presentation of Our Lord Orthodox church and she worked at the Friday Fish Fry for many years. She was remembered for adding up all the orders in her head without writing anything down! She volunteered at hospice, meals on wheels, tutored, and of course, babysat for her grandchildren. Along with Emil and the women at church, she was part of the TLC committee and did home visits for those who were unable to get to church anymore. She was always an avid reader and read the paper daily and was always up to date on current events. She cared for Emil during his battle with congestive heart failure before he passed away in 2006.
Tish was preceded in death by her brother Emil Dobrin, her husband Emil, her daughter Deborah, and her grandson Robert Barsan. She leaves her brother George Dobrin, her children Richard Barsan, Robert Barsan and his wife Cheryl, William Barsan and his wife Mary, and David Barsan and his wife Susan, and her grandchildren Jordan and Blake Marchese, Kelly Barsan Silverman and her husband Mike Silverman, Lauren, Allison and Adriana Barsan, Erin Barsan, Katie Barsan Boylan and her husband Mark Boylan, David Barsan and his wife Ruth, Blake and Anna Barsan, and her great grandchildren Everett and Naomi Barsan, and Luke Silverman. Emil and Tish were also proud godparents of George and Anita Stroia, Babe and Mary Flossie, John and Julie Gabor, Ann and Charles Rata, Virginia and Ted Boyer, Drs. Vi and Noel Leathers, and Betty and Russell White. The family would like to thank the staff and volunteers at Bath Creek Estates for giving her wonderful care and to the Hospice team for making her last days more comfortable.
The family will receive friends on Sunday, from 5:30 to 8:00 pm at the Presentation of Our Lord Romanian Orthodox Church 3365 Ridgewood Rd, Fairlawn, OH 44333, where a Saracusta will be held at 7:30 pm. Funeral services will be held Monday, 10:00 am at the church where Tish will lie in state for one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Rose Hill Burial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Tish's memory may be made to the church.
(Kucko-Anthony-Kertesz Chapel, AKRON CFNP 2-5-17)