Barbara died peacefully on March 8, 2022. She was born on March 26, 1934, in Alliston, Ontario, the middle child of late Floyd Lashley and Alice Shotter and sister of late Keith (Joyce) and Jack Lashley (Carol). The family moved to Leaside in her teenage years, and she graduated from Leaside High School. She was the devoted wife of 68 years to Meredith Coates, fiercely proud of her girls: daughters Cathy Coates (Alister Thomson), Linda Coates (Robb Macpherson), Jennifer Coates (Brian De Salvo), and granddaughters Emma Macpherson (William Carrigan) and Tess Macpherson and always welcomed visits from her exuberant grandpuppies. She was sister-in-law of Keith Coates (d. Aileen), Lenore Pristol (d. Henry), Joyce Foster (Lawrence) and Carol Lashley (Jack) and will be missed by nieces, nephews and cousins. Barbara was kind, thoughtful and creative, an enthusiastic volunteer, a master organizer and a keen observer of nature. She and Meredith moved to Muskoka near Milford Bay, and they both cherished the next forty years travelling, golfing, curling (South Muskoka Curling), tennis, square dancing, canoeing, birding, walks in the Wyldewood Road meadow, Muskoka Field Naturalists outings, a monthly dining club, the annual antique boat show and the peace and beauty of Muskoka in its four seasons. She made many beautiful things: sewing, needlework, driftwood sculptures, rope boat bumpers, apple pies and Grandma’s eggs. Music was an important part of her life. She was an accomplished pianist with an impressive repertoire, from classical pieces to show tunes; loved singsongs around the piano; was a pianist for practices and performances of the Bracebridge Rotary Club; played piano for music classes at Muskoka Falls Public School; and was a member of the Muskoka Concert Band, French horn section.
Barbara’s warm and welcoming nature meant that her home was often the centre of friendly, relaxed gatherings of people who were special to her: her family, the Wyldewood Road community, and her longtime friends from the Muskoka area, Toronto, southern Ontario and other parts of Canada who were always invited to share a meal, a cup of tea in the sunroom while looking at the trees, or a cocktail on the dock on a sunny, summer day.
Alzheimer’s was not kind to Barbara. We are deeply grateful to Castle Peak Retirement Residence, Dr. Kappos and the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital for their compassionate care. Cremation has taken place. In Barbara’s memory and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Society of Muskoka https://alzheimer.ca/muskoka/en or a charity of choice and may be arranged through Reynolds Funeral Home.
Messages of condolence and memories may be shared on Barbara's tribute wall above this obituary.
There will be a celebration of Barbara’s life at her home in Muskoka this summer.
All is well, Barbara, and now all that is left is for us to continue to give thanks.