Barbara Shirley Coburn (nee Tapper), of Milton, Ontario, unexpectedly, at home, quietly left us June 23, 2021 just 3 months short of her 87th birthday. Barb is survived by her four children, Cathy (Bob), Christine (John), Laurie (Terry), Stan (Catherine); three grandchildren, Ryan (Kerri), Jeremy (Jonina), Nick (Rebecca); four great-grandchildren, Ben, Carter, Jolene, June and her fur baby, Julio. Barb has left behind friends too numerous to count. She will be remembered for her kindness, sense of humour, broad smile, indomitable spirit and vivacity. She was known for her unwavering optimism throughout difficult times, especially the many challenges she faced with numerous health issues. She was feisty and well tenacious. You didn’t want to mess with Barb.
Barb had many passions. She was never still. As a young person she was quite the dancer. Later in her life she spent her time reading, searching for recipes, making soup and baking, making preserves, knitting, sewing, gardening, bird watching, enjoying nature and carrying out genealogical searches online, no less. She loved nothing better than preparing a feast for her family. She loved all her dogs with abandon. Her newest fur baby, Julio, brought much joy into her life. He was loyal to the end.
Barb loved to travel and see new places. She fantasized about where she would like to go after Covid. She loved the British Isles, British history, and old architecture. If you wanted to know anything about Britain you asked Barb. Some of her favourite memories were of separate trips she took with her daughters Christine and Cathy. On a cruise of the Mediterranean with Laurie, Cathy and Bob she participated in numerous shore tours wanting to inhale anything culinary. One of her favourite destinations was Crete where she returned with Cathy and Bob to celebrate her 80th birthday and Cathy’s 60th. Again, she was fascinated by anything culinary and enjoyed eating local cuisines including imbibing locally made raki. She enchanted everyone she encountered from cab drivers, hotel staff, housekeeping staff, wait staff, to tour operators. At the resort she traded knitting tips with one of the housekeeping staff though neither spoke the other’s language. Everywhere she went she miraculously found and made many animal friends, mostly dogs but sometimes even cats.
Barb loved her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren without reserve despite some rocky times. Her greatest joy was when her entire family was gathered around a meal she had prepared. She loved to share everything she cooked; baked goods, preserves, and soup. She was known to many as ‘the soup lady’. She was also loyal and steadfast to her friends and they returned that loyalty and steadiness. If a list was made of their names here some would be inadvertently missed but you know in your hearts who you are. Many elderly (how she hated being referred to that way) don’t make a lot of new friends but Barb was always meeting new people because she made the effort to reach out and be kind. People were just drawn to her smile.
According to her wishes cremation has taken place. Her ashes will be scattered privately by her family at a later time. Her desire had been to gather friends and family in a celebration of her life. Due to Covid this is not currently possible. We will, however, gather together at a future time when permitted at the J. Scott Early Funeral Home in Milton, Ontario. Details are to be announced at a later date.
If desired, memorial donations to either the Diabetes Association or the SPCA would be appreciated by the family.