Barbara (Briggs) Sunderland Leopold

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Barbara (Briggs) Sunderland Leopold died peacefully, in her home, with her loving family by her side on Monday, Sept. 2, 2013. She was born June 9, 1928, and was the younger daughter of Walter C. and Catherine Shearman Sunderland in Jamestown, N.Y.

Barbara grew up in Jamestown, attended Jamestown schools, and graduated from Jamestown High School. Barbara’s grandparents’ farm and cottage on Chautauqua Lake always held special memories for her. She loved the lake, and as a youth she enjoyed swimming across it with sister, Katy, and friends: Sherry, Mary Beth, and her Shearman cousins. Barbara also worked at the Chautauqua Institution one summer.

On July 2, 1948, she married Jonathan P. A. Leopold in Buffalo, N.Y. Together they reared four children, sailed their Dragon class sailboats in international competitions, and owned a Morgan Horse farm. When first married, they lived in Buffalo, and in 1965 moved to Williston, Vt., where they lived on and owned a 250-acre farm.

Barbara loved animals, and was never without one or more dogs, and one or more cats, and there were times when there were as many as five dogs and two or three cats in her household. She also ran Enterprise Morgan Horse Farm, the family Morgan Horse farm in Williston. The pride and joy of the farm was the fastest trotting Morgan Horse of the 20th century, Portledge Steven, who was an integral part of the Leopold family. Barbara also lived briefly in Baltimore, Md. from 1974-76. She studied history at The Johns Hopkins University.

She missed Vermont and in 1977 moved to Woodstock, Vt.. where she bought a farm, worked as a real estate broker, and became active in the Lucy MacKenzie Humane Society. Barbara moved to The Lodge at Shelburne Bay (in Shelburne, Vt.) in 2001 to be closer to her family.

Barbara is survived by her four children: Jonathan and his wife, Roxane of Burlington, Vt., and Atlanta Ga., James and his wife, Candis of Colchester, Vt., Christopher and his wife, Jennifer of Shelburne, Vt., and Elizabeth Anne and her spouse, Jane Woodruff of Greensboro, Vt. She is also survived by six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her parents; her sister, Catherine S. Webster; and her former husband, Jonathan Leopold.

A service will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Burlington, Vt., in December. In lieu of flowers contributions in her name may be made to the following organizations: The Regatta for Lake Champlain, 113 Church St., Burlington, VT 05401 or Soaring Eagle, P.O. Drawer 879, Billings, MT 59103-0879 of the Sierra Club, 85 Second St., Second Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105-344.