Barbara S. Besse, 92

Apr 3, 2023

Barbara S. Besse, 92, of Rochester passed away peacefully on March 29, 2023 at Sacred Heart Home in New Bedford. She was the wife of the late Richard H. Besse and daughter of Raymond and Alberta King.

Barbara worked at McLellan’s 5 & 10 in Wareham after high school and on family cranberry bogs. She enjoyed traveling with friends and family before she married. She was a Brownie leader, one of the founding members and Treasurer of The Rochester Historical Society, longtime member and Treasurer of the North Rochester Congregational Church and Rochester Town Historian. She owned an Antique and Bottle Shop for many years, she also had a wallpapering & painting business which gave her the opportunity to beautify the homes of many residents of Rochester and surrounding towns. Although she could not always remember the customer’s names, she remembered their wallpaper and the rooms. Barbara was also a gifted artist.

Some of Barbara’s favorite things: family genealogy which she did for many years with her cousin Beverly (they were Mayflower descendants), playing cards, doing puzzles, camping, watching old westerns and The Golden Girls. She was a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan and Dirty Dancing was one of her favorite movies. She loved Abby the cat. Since 2008 she met monthly with her Wareham High School Class of 1948 classmates for lunch at Vel’s. Her class had a reunion every five years since 1948; the last one being the 70th in September 2018.

She is survived by her children: Jeanne (Besse) Roy of West Wareham, James Besse of Rochester, Joanne (Besse) Viera of West Wareham and her husband Glen, Judy Besse of Rochester. Grandchildren: Amanda (Besse) Bell, Justin Viera and Jenni (Viera) Moos and four great-grandchildren. Her sister, Betty Beaulieu of Rochester and brother, Allen King of Acushnet also survive her, as well as cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends. She was predeceased by her brother Raymond King and sisters Marjorie Morse and Lorraine Morse.

Graveside service to which relatives and friends are invited will be held Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 10 AM at North Rochester Cemetery on North Avenue by Kirby Funeral Home.

Reception to follow at North Rochester Congregational Church.

The family would like to thank Sacred Heart Home and Community Hospice for their loving care.

Donations in Barbara's memory can be made to The North Rochester Congregational Church, 247 North Avenue, Rochester, MA 02770, The Rochester Historical Society, P.O. Box 171, Rochester, MA 02770 or Alzheimer’s Association (

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