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Barbara Bertany Figlar

November 4, 1940 August 16, 2020
Barbara Bertany Figlar
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Obituary for Barbara Bertany Figlar

Barbara Bertany Figlar, age 79 of Fairfield, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, August 16, 2020 surrounded by her loving family. She was the wife of John Andrew Figlar.

Barbara was born in Bridgeport on November 4, 1940 to the late Stephen Edward and Mae (Gulick) Bertany. After graduating from Stratford High School, she went on to Regis College in Weston, MA and finished her studies at the University of Bridgeport.

Barbara taught English at the University of Bridgeport and worked in PR for the Westport Country Playhouse before entering into the field of executive recruiting and career counseling. She opened Barbara Holt Associates in New York City in the late 1960s, commuting into the city when there were few women on the train or in her field. During her career she was featured in articles for Women’s Wear Daily and Woman’s Day Magazine among others, often discussing women in (and returning to) the workforce. She was also actively involved in Women in Management, a think tank of sorts and would lead workshops and lecture often.

Barbara left New York City to work from home and care for her parents as they aged and then began traveling extensively to Russia to pursue new business opportunities while making wonderful friends in her travels.

Barbara was raised in the Russian Orthodox Church. Her relationship with God was central to who she was and how she lived. Helping others and giving back were cornerstones of her belief system with her energies going, among other places, to her church and the Russian Children’s Welfare Society in New York City. She co-chaired and chaired The Petroushka Ball and helped on the committees for many years.

In Barbara’s free-time she had numerous interests that included a love of music in virtually all forms, dancing the night away, travel and the adventures that ensued, reading voraciously (and in her final months being read to), enjoying the arts ranging from opera and ballet to plays and author talks, and of course finishing a NYT crossword puzzle in record time—always in pen. Her laughter was infectious, her love boundless and the twinkle in her eye and her brilliant wit made her the one you’d want to sit next to at a party.

But above all, Barbara found no greater joy than sitting with a cup of good coffee and having a wonderful conversation with family or friends. The people in her life were her greatest treasures and on her last alert day when discussing her life she made it clear she would change not a thing. She passed away with neither fear nor regret.

In addition to her husband, John, she is survived by her daughters, Pamela Maren Peters (Kevin), of Pomfret, CT, Laura Kimbel Amicucci (Joseph), of Fairfield, Mary Brooke Holt (David Chard), of Bridgeport, and daughter by love Lisa Marie Dobey; the lights of her life, her grandchildren, Christopher, Eleanor, and Caroline; and Russell Dobey the father of Pamela and Laura, and Robert Holt, the father of Mary. She was also blessed to have always been surrounded by her extended family of cousins. Barbara is also survived by John’s daughter, Kathy Aquila (Tony) and grand children Ali and Michael.

In addition to her parents she was predeceased by her beloved baby brother, Stephen Edward Bertany, and all her wonderful aunts and uncles.

Friends may call on Friday, August 21, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at the Pistey Funeral Home, 2155 Main Street, Stratford. A private service officiated by Very Reverend John Jillions will take place afterward. For information on how to livestream the service, visit the funeral home website. Interment will be private in Lakeview Cemetery, Bridgeport. In lieu of flowers, donations in Barbara’s memory can be made to the Russian Children’s Welfare Society, 16 West 32nd St, #405, New York, NY 10001 (or To express condolences online, visit

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Previous Events





9:30 AM 8/21/2020 9:30:00 AM - 11:30 AM 8/21/2020 11:30:00 AM
Pistey Funeral Home

2155 Main Street
Stratford, CT 06615

Pistey Funeral Home
2155 Main Street Stratford 06615 CT
United States

Cemetery Details


Lakeview Cemetery Final Resting Place

885 Boston Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06610

885 Boston Avenue Bridgeport 06610 CT
United States

Memorial Contribution

Russian Children’s Welfare Society

16 West 32nd St
New York, NY

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