Braithwaite, Barbara Joan (née Gascoyne) died suddenly but peacefully November 17, 2020, aged 87, with children Jed and Leah by her side. Predeceased by Edmund, beloved husband of 60+ years, parents Oswald and Evelyn (née Graham) and brother Ken. Survived and dearly missed by brother Robert, grandchildren Hannah and Andrew Braithwaite and daughter-in-law Nella Catalfamo; Mirya and Graham Reid and their father Donald Reid.
Barbara’s great gift was creating enduring relationships. Her formative years were spent in Davisville, Toronto, where her oldest friendships were forged. Some of her dearest friends were met at North Toronto Collegiate Institute and celebrated annually at NTCI reunions. Kindergarten teacher was an impossible dream without piano, instead she found work at IBM. Her ‘hi-tech’ career was cut short after meeting Ed as company policy did not allow women to remain employed after marriage.
Barbara and Ed settled in Kitchener-Waterloo. Friends were collected from Ed’s Electrohome colleagues and hers at Dominion Life Insurance. When children arrived, Barbara stayed home in the wonderful Maplewood Place community, finding time to add “Avon Lady” and “dedicated volunteer” supporting May Court Club’s preschool program and Parkminster United Church’s UCW for 25+yrs. She warmly hosted international students maintaining lifelong contact. Barbara returned to paid work in the ‘Children’s Department’ at Sears and ultimately realized her teaching dream as an Educational Assistant for the Waterloo Region District School Board providing loving support to special needs children. She established deep connections with all her colleagues which lasted long into retirement.
The East Moore Lake cottage built by her father and brothers was a constant for Barbara for 70+ years. When young, summers were spent at the lake especially with the ‘Duncan girls’ and later the MacLean family. In retirement, Barbara and Ed rebuilt a year-round home and she embraced a new community beginning with St. Paul’s Anglican Church supporting the coffee hour, Thrift Shop and Prayer Group. Days passed quickly with school volunteering; cards, knitting and swimming groups; and enjoying local theatre. Retirement also meant travel including across Canada visiting long-time friends and winters in Portugal meeting new ones.
The strength of Barbara’s relationships was revealed in support from friends and the close-knit East Moore community during Ed’s illness and after his passing. She was grateful to continue her “lakeside life” and travel for several more years with their help and friendship. Their deep affection was most apparent during Barbara’s sudden illness. Despite pandemic challenges, so many provided comfort with outside visits, through windows and via video calls. Barbara greeted all with love and her beautiful smile. This is how she will be remembered and greatly missed.
Her family would like to express gratitude to Drs. Mihu and Vlasschaert and Sandra Butler for their caring support ensuring Barbara maintained her vibrancy and quality of life.
Visitation and Celebration of Life
Barbara's life will be celebrated at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Minden, Ontario when permitted. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Lung Association of Canada, Minden Hospital Health Auxiliary or the children’s or cultural charity of your choice would be appreciated. Condolences can be shared directly with the family or via www.communityfuneralhomes.com. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the COBOCONK COMMUNITY FUNERAL HOME 6644 Hwy #35, Coboconk, Ontario (705) 454-3913.
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