Obituary: Barbara “Babs” Bacci Stedman

Barbara “Babs” Bacci Stedman
Barbara “Babs” Bacci Stedman
Provided Photo

May 17, 1930 – November 26, 2021

Barbara “Babs” Bacci Stedman passed away peacefully on Friday November 26, 2021in her own home surrounded by loving family and friends. She was 91½ years old and enjoyed an incredibly full and accomplished life. She was predeceased in death by her parents Duilio and Anna, older brother Wilbur and her husband Joe. She is survived by Tim Callicrate.

A San Francisco native she was raised in San Mateo where she excelled in academics and music. Her love of singing was further encouraged by lessons and her beautiful lyric soprano voice was discovered. A trip to Italy in 1948 had her studying at the La Scala Opera Academy under world renowned opera star Gina Cigna. Barbara’s career goals had been set. Her return to America that fall led to a continuation of her opera studies eventually leading her to the San Francisco Opera where she sang in the chorus under the direction of Kurt Herbert Adler the assistant to SF Opera Founder and Director Gaetano Merola. Barbara continued to sing in the chorus until 1956 at which time she developed Bell’s palsy which brought a tragic and devastating end to her promising singing career. She had begun employment at General Electric the prior year and continued with the company for 22 years. It was here she met her future husband Joseph Stedman. Their shared loves of music, dancing and travel took them on frequent cruises to the Caribbean, trips to Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe and cross country adventures. Their purchase of a vacation home in Incline Village, NV in 1973 led them to permanently relocate from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe in 1977. As Barbara was not one to settle down so quickly she went to the Hyatt and inquired as to any administrative positions. As luck would have it there was an open position as the Executive Assistant to the Food and Beverage Director. She was hired on the spot and began her new career. She lost her beloved Joe in 1985 but continued working for the Hyatt for a total of 37 years; retiring in 2014 at the age of 84. All of her former bosses became General Managers and Executive Vice-Presidents within the Hyatt Corporation and frequently mentioned that ‘Babs trained us well’! Her nickname ‘The Lovely Babs’ was given to her by a former boss and it suited her well until her last breath.

Throughout her 44 years in Incline Village, she was a very active member of the St Francis Community, an active and staunch conservative member and past 2-term President of the IVCB Republican Women’s group, 10 year season ticket holder to Classical Tahoe, 20 year season ticket holder to the Reno Phil and a proud 73 year member of both Macys and AAA!

Her retirement brought many more trips and adventures: visits to friends and family in Cocoa Beach, Florida; the Hawaiian Islands; the Bahamas; New York City and the Metropolitan Opera; The Bay Area and the San Francisco Opera; a Transatlantic crossing on the QM2 to England and her final trip to Italy during a wicked heatwave in 2019 that had her beloved Tim pushing her in her stylish wheelchair through Northern Italy for 2½ weeks!

2020 and 2021 began to take their toll on Babsie and this last November brought pneumonia that she was unable to shake. She’s flying high breathing deeply, singing her heart out with the Heavenly Choir, golden voice restored and more beautiful than ever and reconnecting with loved ones…with her wicked smile, wry sense of humor and her vodka on the rocks! We love you Babs. The world was made brighter from your being in it and we will meet again when our Lord deems it so…

A Catholic Funeral Mass/ Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, December 11 at 11am at St. Francis Catholic Church in Incline Village, Nevada. A tremendous debt of gratitude to Tahoe Forest Hospice, the St Francis Community and the many loving and caring friends and neighbors for their kindness and compassion these past several months. Rest In Peace Our Dear Babsie.

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