Cover photo for Barbara Jean Mccarter Bloy's Obituary
Barbara Jean Mccarter Bloy Profile Photo
1942 Barbara 2016

Barbara Jean Mccarter Bloy

August 29, 1942 — April 18, 2016

Barbara Jean McCarter Bloy died Monday morning in Knoxville from dementia at 73. Born in Philadelphia to Robert McCarter, a Presbyterian minister, and Ruth Julia Luckins McCarter, a lifelong educator and homemaker, Barbara was mother to two boys and an accomplished teacher of English literature. Like her mother and sister before her, Barbara graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls, earning a scholarship to Maryville College. At Maryville Barbara completed a degree in English in 1964 and met and married James Bloy, a music professor, who fathered her two sons. She went on to earn a doctorate in English Literature at the University of Tennessee, part of a cadre of Maryville alumnae who were among the first generation of women earning higher degrees in Humanistic research. Her scholarly interests were naturally informed by her feminism, but outside the classroom as well she was a fierce advocate of equal rights and pay for women, for women who suffered domestic violence, and an ardent supporter of Planned Parenthood. Barbara's teaching career had already begun at UT, and after her doctoral hooding she took up a tenure-track position at Castleton State College in Vermont in 1977. Three years later, she embarked on a preparatory school teaching career in Connecticut in order to provide a first-rate education to her two sons, first at Saint Margaret's-McTernan School (now Chase Collegiate) in Waterbury and then at the Taft School in Watertown. After both boys were off to college, she decided to live by the beach, and took a job as Chair of the English department at Ransom Everglades School in the Coconut Grove area of Miami, Florida. Dr. Bloy, as she was universally known to her students, sent a whole generation on to Ivy League success by dint of her rigor in honing their writing. Nearly a decade into her tenure at Ransom, Barbara spent an entire school year recovering from a rare lung disorder; her compromised immune system convinced her not long afterwards to leave prep school teaching behind and begin an active semi-retirement. She continued to walk the beaches and paddle the mangrove swamps of south Florida in her sea kayak. She continued to add her professional contralto voice to the choirs of her Episcopal churches. She also continued to teach writing at the university level, and started a new career as a textbook writer. She first wrote a skill book designed to be used with the Advanced Placement English curriculum at prep schools, then companion volumes to the four great Shakespearean tragedies for use in prep schools and colleges. Barbara is survived by her sister Dorothy, her sons Greg and Dylan, and her grandchildren Dorian, Julia, and Max (expected any day). She specified two epitaphs to be told to her grandchildren. First "I am content. I have had music" and second, "and gladly would she learn and gladly teach." A memorial service in Barbara's honor will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Maryville College Center for Campus Ministry. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Planned Parenthood of Middle & East Tennessee or to the regional chapter of your choice.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Maryville College Center for Campus Ministry

502 East Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37804

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