Obituary: Barbara Mulholland, former Wiltonian and longtime philanthropist
Barbara Linden Mulholland passed away at home June 17, 2016. Her family said she had no known health problems at the time of her death. The cause, they said was apparent sudden heart failure.
She was born Feb. 12, 1942, to Rene Linden and Mildred Caccavo. Barbara was proud to share her birth date with President Lincoln, which inspired her nickname, "the Barberaham." She was raised with her four siblings in the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe, Mich. Barbara attended high school and college in Michigan and, in 1965, moved to New York City to pursue a career in advertising. She married Timothy Mulholland in 1966 and moved to Wilton, Conn. in 1970. They had three children, Megan, Heather and Patrick. Barbara said her home in Wilton was always her favorite "with a small red barn in back and a huge copper beech tree in the front.” In 1977, they moved to Las Vegas and following a divorce, Barbara worked at Saks Fifth Avenue, the Tropicana Hotel and the Las Vegas Pro-Am Golf Tournament.
In 1983, Citibank opened a credit card processing operation in Las Vegas and Barbara was the fifth employee hired in an operation that would eventually employ thousands. At that time, the bank was the second largest private sector employer in Nevada. Barbara rose to become the senior vice president for Community Affairs, or as she liked to put it, "I give away the bank's money." Under Barbara's leadership Citibank's philanthropy supported many diverse organizations including Communities in Schools, Nevada Ballet, Three Square, After-School All Stars and many others. The organizations did not just get financial assistance, they got Barbara. With her tireless dedication, came training and expertise focused on transparency, efficiency and accountability. By educating nonprofit organizations, she revolutionized philanthropy in Las Vegas.
She retired in 2014, but her impact on the community and charitable giving continues today. Following her retirement, she indulged her passion for drawing taking courses at UNLV.
However, it didn't take long for her life's work of helping others to take center stage again. Barbara became a volunteer at WestCare Foundation's Women and Children's Campus, where programs and services across the continuum of health and human services are offered to improve the lives of vulnerable women and children. With Barbara's help, they recently celebrated the largest grant the facility has ever received, and as a result more women and children's lives will be touched, changed and saved.
Barbara — sister, mother, grandmother and partner — is survived by her sister, Joan Linden Gibson; brothers, Robert, David and Richard Linden; daughters, Megan Wilkes, Heather Mulholland Kenney; son, Patrick Mulholland; son-in-law, Paul Wilkes; granddaughters, Katie and Charlotte Wilkes, Piper and Brooke Kenney; grandson, Ryan Wilkes; and significant other, of 25 years, Stanley Hunterton
A celebration of Barbara's life took place June 24, at Palm Mortuary, Las Vegas. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be sent to WestCare’s Women and Children's Campus, 5659 Duncan Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89130 (702-385-2020).
Her many, longtime friends in Wilton were devastated to learn of her unexpected passing. She was extremely intelligent, a positive thinker, an accomplished artist and very talented writer. Barbara will be dearly remembered for her wonderful sense of humor, laser-like wit, and joyful outlook on life.