Barbara J. Westfall

June 6, 1945 ~ October 30, 2020 (age 75)


“And though she be but little, she is fierce.”

Barbara Westfall passed away on her own terms October 30, 2020.  Born in the Tompkins County Hospital June 6, 1945 to Walter and Betty (Vollmuth) Cogswell, Sr., Barb enjoyed growing up in Etna, NY, along with her three younger siblings.  In 1963, she graduated from Dryden High School and married Doug Westfall.  They later moved to a house on Union Street, Freeville, NY, where she was happy to have their two children grow up.  Barb worked at GE, Agway, and the Ithaca Journal, then began a 30-year career as a legal secretary working for Ithaca lawyers including Thaler & Thaler, Fred Weinstein, Bill Shaw, and True, Walsh & Miller.


Although her body failed her over the years, she toughed through it to make the most of life.  She especially enjoyed reading, eating, reading about eating, and road trips that involved eating.  As she would say, You don’t have to be hungry to eat!

Barb will be missed greatly by her daughter Vicki Westfall, whom she called her best friend and awesome caregiver; her loving and supportive son Jim Westfall, daughter-in-law Lisa (White) Westfall, and two grandchildren, Andrew Westfall and Megan Westfall (Rob Jumper); and her closest friends, Nancy Shaw, Linda Baylor, and Evie Coleman. We shall travel with strength.

Barb was grateful to her medical support teams of Dr. Law, Dr. Kodali, Dr. Ferrer, Dr. Hesson, and all the caring and encouraging doctors and staff at the Ithaca dialysis center, who always strived to make it the best for her.


She and Vicki were also fortunate to have befriended Marisa Dukes, not only for her caregiving but also for her friendship, caring and story-telling.

We hope you remember Barb for her grin, twinkle in her eye, and fire in her spirit.

At this time, no services have been planned.  To support those agencies that helped her, she requested donations in her memory be made to: the Varna Volunteer Fire Co., 14 Turkey Hill Road, Ithaca, NY 14850 (online at, or the Expanded In-home Services for the Elderly Program, Tompkins Co. Office For the Aging, attn: Lisa Monroe, 214 W. State Street, Ithaca NY 14850 (put “donation for EISEP” in the check memo).



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