Needle Barbara


Barbara Levine Needle

68, loving wife, dedicated school psychologist and hard-working volunteer, passed away on July 26, 2013, after a long struggle with pulmonary disease. She was born May 22, 1945, to Mildred and Samuel Levine in Long Branch, New Jersey. She is survived by her husband of 38 years, Burgess Needle; her sisters, Alice (Levine) Newell and Leslie Levine, and two nephews, Walker and Graeme Newell, whom she adored. Barbara graduated from Penn State with a BA in Psychology and an MA in Rehab Counseling before moving to Tucson where she had a long and fulfilling career with the Tucson Unified School District as a school psychologist. While still working, she returned to school at the University of Arizona where she earned an Education Specialist degree. She loved the people and culture of Mexico and studied Spanish for two summers at San Miguel de Allende and for a third summer lived and worked in Zacatecas Province where she volunteered as a translator in a doctor's office acting as an intermediary between a doctor and his female patients. Barbara worked at over a dozen schools with caring and was always dedicated to the best interests of her students. She had many friends whom she loved with passion because, in her own words, "My friends are all exceptional." She passionately adored everyone in her family and her husband's family, and was especially proud of her two nephews, Walker and Graeme, both for simply being who they were and for their accomplishments. They were the lights of her life and she never stopped claiming bragging rights as their aunt. Barbara was a life-long learner and traveler. She never smiled more than when she was visiting a place for the first time or standing on foreign soil. When she traveled through Thailand she always wanted to see the Hill tribes who were least accessible or travel through a rain forest that was most inhospitable. Her nature was to see what was over the next hill. Fighting lung disease from an early age, Barbara never gave an inch to her disabilities and was known throughout the University of Arizona's Wellness Center as Queen of the elliptical Machine. After retiring from TUSD, Barbara turned to volunteer work with the same enthusiasm she exhibited as a school psychologist. During her years at The Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center, Barbara worked tirelessly and eventually became Board President, as she continued her efforts raising funds and speaking in public on the agency's behalf. She later became a facilitator for caregiver support groups for pre and post transplant patients and their spouses as well as running pulmonary rehab and patient education groups. Our beautiful Barbara has left a void that will never be filled, but our consolation is knowing the evening sky has one more star to guide our way. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center, Unity for Life or to Casa de La Luz whose caring and dedicated staff brought Barbara care and comfort. There will be a Celebration of Barbara's Life to be announced in the near future. Arrangements by ADAIR FUNERAL HOMES, Dodge Chapel.