Portland - Barbara “Barbie” Meuse-Hayden, lifelong resident of Portland’s West End neighborhood attending St. Dominic Elementary School and graduating from Portland High School.\n\nShe spent 40 years as a career educator alongside her beloved friend, Beth Eastman. She specialized in the education and care of adolescents and adults with special needs. Her passion for teaching allowed her to go above and beyond for her students by always creating safe spaces for them to grow and learn.\n\nIn her spare time Barbie would indulge in creative talents like drawing, painting, gardening, sewing, etc. She always prioritized family time, never forgetting a birthday or holiday and her greatest joy was spending time with her only grandson, Javonte Hayden.\n\nBarbie was known as a welcoming presence to everyone she came across, friends and strangers alike. Her maternal instincts expanded beyond the care of her own children and extended to anyone who she felt needed it. Barbie’s greatest gift to the world was making everyone she came across feel accepted and seen.\n\nAlthough the last few years of Barbie’s life were tainted by illness she was always surrounded and taken care of by loved ones, namely her husband, Joel Hayden; son, James Hayden; and daughter, Jenessa Hayden. Although their time together was short, the memories they created together will last beyond this lifetime. She passed peacefully with loved one’s present, along with her guardian angel, Justyn Hayden, her eldest son.\n\nBarbie is predeceased by her parents, Walter and Alice Marie Meuse; son, Justyn Hayden; and brother, Richard (Sucha) Meuse. She is survived by husband, Joel; son, James; daughter, Jenessa; grandson, Javonte; and siblings, Patricia (Roger) McHugh, Lorraine (Charles) Alexander, Charles (Jeanne) Meuse, Walter (Nancy) Meuse, David Meuse and Stephen Meuse.\n\nVisiting hours and a celebration of Barbie’s life will be held from 4-7PM on Friday, August 11, 2023 at the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland.