Name: Barbara Ann Karaway
Place of Birth: Jersey City, New Jersey
Date of Birth: November 15, 1944
Parents: Stephen and Julia Karaway (deceased)
Husband: Richard Widmann
Children: One daughter, Jaime
Present Residence: Denarau, Fiji, South Pacific
Previous Residence: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1972-2003)
Education: University of Maryland graduate
Profession: R.N.B.S.N. Neonatal Intensive Care
Present Status: Retired
Hobbies (past): skating, playing the piano, gardening, snow skiing,
(present): sailing, knitting, crocheting, water aerobics, weight lifting,
backgammon, gourmet cooking, kayaking, windsurfing.
It was on a Saturday, late 1951, mom asked dad if he would take me to the park so that she could finish her housework. That's when it all began. My dad and I never made it to the park, instead I found myself at the Boulevard Arena in Bayonne, N.J. Good choice,Dad! I can't recall who the skater was that my dad approached to look after me during that afternoon session, but I do remember how well she could skate. She held my hand as I timidly shuffled around the rink to the tunes played by the organist. At the end of the session she informed my dad about the Skating Club and said that she thought I would really enjoy it. 1952-1957......roller skating became my life. Seven years of age and I already had an addiction, ROLLER SKATING!!! Jude Cull introduced me to the world of competitive skating and all its responsibilities. Through his instruction I learned that skating was fun, but if I wanted to excel it would require hours of practice, dedication and perseverance. It wasn't until a little while later that I clearly understood what he meant. Instruction, practice, more instruction and more practice! I I will always remember my first competition. It took place in Florham Park, N.J. All so new and exciting. To this day I treasure the photo taken of me and my Dad after the event. He was very happy and proud and I could feel that I did well. I may not have earned a medal on that particular day but I knew that I loved to compete. Skating was fun and I was ready for the challenge . The next event took place at Twin City Arena in Elizabeth, N.J. and then the States and finally the Nationals. .Between 1953 and 1957 I qualified to skate the nationals and earned 2 gold's and a bronze.
1953 Akron, Ohio
1954 Washington, D.C. Juvenile Mixed Pairs Ist Place
Robert Slawsky and Barbara Karaway
1955 Mineola, N.Y. Novice Ladies' Pairs 1st Place
Marie Secter and Barbara Karaway
1955 Mineola, N.Y. Juvenile Girls Singles 3rd Place
1956 Chicago, Illinois
1957 Detroit, Michigan
During those years I was not only instructed by Jude, but also his wife, Audrey Cull. It was Audrey who taught me the importance of competing with grace. All athletes benefit from this knowledge. It means having the ability to accept both victory and defeat . To not only applaud yourself for a job well done, but to sincerely applaud others for their accomplishments. Growing up in this environment of people could only produce winners!!! As a member of the Boulevard Skating Club I was part of a very supportive family of skaters. It was a wonderful way to live my childhood. When my roller skating career ended at the ripe old age of 12, I occasionally would yearn to return but it never did happen.
In 1962 I graduated from the Academy of St. Aloysius and then went on to college earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Maryland. I practiced nursing at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore, Md. for 3 years and then moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida practicing nursing in the NICU at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital . At the age of 35 I developed a strong desire to compete. I joined the local Ice Skating Rink and after three months of private lessons competed in a Ladies Freestyle Competition in Miami Beach. Both my husband and 5year old daughter were in the audience cheering me on. I didn't get the gold but I did earn the silver. It was thrilling!!!! Since then the only skating that I have done is inline. My 80 year old neighbor always enjoyed watching me jump and spin on those roller blades. Skating always makes people happy whether actively participating or just watching. Skaters also have their ways of putting joy into other peoples lives. I am thinking of our dear friend, Jim Kohl. This biography may be written off the top of my head but my gratitude for what he has been able to accomplish comes from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, Jim. You certainly have made what I thought impossible, a reality. Never would I have thought that today I would be making airline reservations to once again be with people that I have not seen in over 50 years. God bless you, my new found friend.
When the 911 terrorist attack destroyed the New York Trade Center Twin Towers I became a member of the Decontamination Team in Miami, Fl. In 2002, a required yearly routine chest film showed a very small spot on my right lung. I am one of the lucky 10%.....
The Beginning Again
Today my passion is sailing and has been for many years. Having retired from the hospital after 30 years of service, my husband, Richard and I have lived at sea for 4 years and have finally decided to settle in Fiji. Life has much to offer when you are not afraid to reach for that "golden ring". I feel
very fortunate and grateful to be on this earth....whether it be on sea or land.
I only lost part of a lung....not my life. Another beginning. See you all in May.