Barbara Umanoff Birnbaum
Barbara Birnbaum (née Umanoff), 74, of West Hartford, died on March 5, 2011, after a 17-year battle with Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD). Throughout the years since the diagnosis, Barbara displayed great courage and tenacity, embracing her family and friends and serving as a role model to many. Born in Brooklyn, New York on September 17, 1936, the daughter of the late Harold and Florence Umanoff, Barbara was raised in Rockville Centre, New York. She moved to West Hartford with her family in 1970. She attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Hofstra University. Barbara loved to travel and enjoyed a career as a travel agent. She served on boards for the Wadsworth Atheneum Auxiliary and the University of Hartford Art School’s House and Garden Tour, and was co-chair of the Beth El Temple Art Show. Barbara is survived by her beloved husband of 51 years, Robert J. Birnbaum, of West Hartford, her daughters, Margot Birnbaum of Boston, Carol Birnbaum and son-in-law Adam Manacher of Cambridge, Paula Birnbaum and son-in-law Neil Solomon of San Francisco, brother and sister-in-law David and Shelly Umanoff, grandchildren Daniel, Jonathan, Jordan and Mariel.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, March 6 at 10:30am in the Chapel of the Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Ave., Hartford with Rabbi James Rosen officiating. Interment will follow at the Beth El Temple Cemetery, Jackson St., Avon. A memorial period will be observed after the burial in the Hill Club at the home of Robert J. Birnbaum, 25 Cassandra Blvd., West Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the FSH Society, BBRI R353, 64 Grove Street, Watertown, MA 02472 or For further information, directions, or to sign the guest book for Barbara, please visit online at

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