Barbara Kane-Lewis of Ithaca died March 5, 2020 at Hospicare Ithaca after a recent cancer diagnosis. Barbara lived to develop innovative programs. Her favorite projects were Darts Mill DayCare in New Jersey working with severely abused and neglected children. She developed a small farm and garden with the children. Many of them attended the Glen Gardener program which was an elder care residence that was established when people were being discharged from large institutions. "We took the children and animals to visit . The residents loved this. Some of them began to speak for the first time in years. Some loved to pet the bunnies; this was really innovative work at the time." Next, she helped to develop some of the first deinstitutionalization programs providing housing, support, and helping clients ease into the world. A great help for people leaving long term care. She went on to design a program for parents on Social Services to return to school to secure a college degree to become economically self sufficient. She was a strong opponent of hydrofracking. She helped to bring awareness around the topic through speaker engagements and volunteering time to those afflicted in Pennsylvania. When the town of Barker was advocating that they be the first demonstration project for fracking in New York State, she knew she would come under compulsory integration, so she auctioned her house and moved to the town of Dryden which had just passed a fracking ban. She was just over the border and could just step into Ithaca. She continued to fight fracking and was overjoyed when NYS banned it. She loved living in Ithaca, she sang in choirs, learned Tai Chi, became involved in GIAC and then for the past 2 years had the very best job title ever - Ithaca Bike Champion. She set up events and programs to help anyone with a barrier to biking. Encouraging others to bike by helping one on one and coordinating big events for BIke Walk Tompkins. Barbara earned an Associate degree in Horticulture from Alfred State College , a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Empire State College and a Masters in Social Sciences from Binghamton University. Originally from Binghamton, she spent a lot of time living in New Jersey, Long Island, Pennsylvania, and Ithaca. She had a full and happy life surrounded by wonderful family and friends. Barbara is predeceased by her parents Bob and Louise Kane, Binghamton. Barbara is survived by her son, Brian (Michelle)Lewis, Endicott. Sisters Nell (Ellen and John) Scales, Port Crane, Peggy Kane, College Park,MD. Brothers Mike (Pat) Kane, Port Crane. Joe (Sally) Kane, Arizona. Nieces and nephews Dan, Jen, Ryleigh and Morgan Scales, Dryden, Nancy Scales Coddington, Endwell, Sue, Eric, Liam and Ethan Russell, Harpursville. A memorial will be held at a future date.
Memorial donations may be sent to Hospicare, unrestricted funds, 172E. King Road, Ithaca, NY 14850 or GIAC, senior activities in memo line, 301 Court St., Ithaca, NY 14850.
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