Hebe L. Backiel passed away peacefully, after a brief illness, on June 27, 2019 in Stamford, CT, with her children by her side. She was 99 years old. Hebe was born May 19, 1920 in Watkins Glen, NY to Duncan and Florence Parks. She graduated from Hofstra University, where she met her husband-to-be, Stephen A. Backiel, her spouse of 58 years. After four-year stints in Brooklyn, Mineola, NY and Greenville, SC, they moved to Livingston, NJ in 1956, where they raised their family and lived for almost 45 years.
Hebe thrived as a full-time homemaker and a loving and supportive mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, who always put her family first. Hebe and Steve delighted in skiing with friends and family, which they impressively pursued into their late 70’s. In warmer seasons, they enjoyed vacationing in Rockport, MA, and along the coast of Maine, where Steve would paint landscapes with Hebe by his side. They turned an appreciation for art into a small business, traveling to regional antique shows, buying and selling fine American paintings. Hebe was passionate about food and cooking, regularly worked at the polls during elections, and was an active member of the AAUW (American Association of University Women), and her local bridge club.
Hebe moved to Edgehill Senior Living in Stamford in 2012, where she made a wonderful group of new friends and was engaged in various committees. She spent her days reading the New York Times, keeping up with politics, and enjoying regular visits from her daughter, Suzanne, and family.
Hebe was pre-deceased by her husband, Stephen, and her brother Duncan Parks Jr. She is survived by her son, Stephen and his spouse Terry Vanderplas of Knoxville, TN; her daughter Suzanne Harley and her spouse William Harley of Stamford; granddaughters Elizabeth Moran of Stamford and Megan McCloskey of Baltimore, MD; five great-grandchildren: Luis, Gianna, Lilly, Logan and Beau; and eight nieces and nephews.
She will forever be remembered for her grace and charm, but also her strength and positive outlook. Her family will continue to be inspired by the passion of her convictions and her spirited, progressive thinking, decades ahead of its time.
Visitation will be held at the Thomas M. Gallagher Funeral Home, 453 Shippan Ave Stamford, CT (203)-359-9999 on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 from 4-8 Pm with a prayer service to be held at 6:30 at the funeral home. The interment will take place alongside her husband at Doyle Veterans Cemetery in Wrightstown, New Jersey. Memorial contributions may be made to Planned Parenthood (www.plannedparenthood.org). To send condolences to the family, please visit www.gallagherfuneralhome.com