Barbara Meglio McCracken
Peacefully, on November 11, 2020, while her husband, Denny, held her hand. Barbara died two days after a shocking diagnosis of stage IV pancreatic cancer. She had survived cancer twice before, enduring chemotherapy and radiation treatments while working and raising small children. And she survived with physical, emotional, and spiritual grace. Barbara was strong. That she had no idea she was ill is not surprising; Barbara had devoted what became her last few months to ensuring that her own mother, Honey, in her last days, enjoyed the best possible quality of life.
Barbara Meglio McCracken was born on January 2, 1955, to Honey and Bill Meglio, who preceded her in death. She was raised in Forest Hills, Pa., and graduated in 1972 from Churchill High School. On a blind date during her senior year, she met the love of her life, Denny. First attracted to him by his metallic-gold 1957 Chevy Bel Air, they became inseparable and married in 1974. Barbara earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Robert Morris University the hard way: taking classes at night for 20 years. She also had a successful accounting and tax preparation business.
Barbara had a passion for travel and was an accomplished cook, which surprised her son Michael’s friends, who didn’t know that “normal” people could cook like she did. She was glamorous and loved sparkly things, but she sparkled on the inside, too. She was super smart and yet grounded and nonjudgmental. She was generous with her time and talents, which were many. She was funny and laughed easily. She was vivacious and magnetic, attracting friends of all varieties. You just felt good in her presence. She enjoyed life to its fullest: her bucket list was empty, but her memory basket was overflowing.
Barbara is survived and missed by her family: her husband Denny; her children, Michael McCracken (April), Brian McCracken (Marsha Fletcher), and Mia Casson (Chris); and her grandchildren Talia and Clio. She is also survived by her siblings, Nancy Snyder (Bill), Bill Meglio (Becky Wagner) and Chuck Meglio (Brenda), and her many nieces and nephews.
Barbara was a mainstay of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills, her spiritual home, which she and Denny joined in 1984. Among her many contributions, she served as voluntary assistant treasurer for more than 20 years. Barbara was also a practitioner of Buddhist meditation; so, it seems fitting to invoke the Buddhist practice of loving-kindness. For just a moment, imagine the loving-kindness that flowed outward from Barbara into the world, enveloping her family, friends, her community, and, even further, all the world. This great web of loving-kindness does not stop with death. It continues with us and through us.
Barbara gave of herself to help others; supporting the community and organizations that feed the hungry and lift up those most in need. To honor her memory, please consider contributing to such an organization.
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