Barbara Milligan

Obituary of Barbara Ruth Milligan


Our beautiful, kind, sweet mother, Barbara Milligan (nee Bainard) passed away suddenly and peacefully at home on March 29, 2021 in her 92nd year. Born in Toronto in 1929 to Roy and Mable Bainard . Wife of the late Francis (Frank) Milligan, Barbara will be deeply missed by her sister Joyce Forster, her three children Eric (Lisa Campeis), Ann (John Firstbrook) and Ian (Teran) and grandmother to her twelve grandchildren, Andrew, Patrick & Ben, Mimi, Annie, George, Claire, Emily, Sophie, Chris, Paige and Charlie.

 Barb grew up in North Toronto, attending Allenby PS and later Lawrence Park CI. She attended the University of Toronto and graduated in 1952. She started her career working at the Toronto Star as a junior editor. Shortly thereafter she met the love of her life through mutual close friends at the age of 24 and married in 1955. Frank and Barb had a wonderful life together that lasted 66 years before Frank’s passing this past fall. They were a true team. After starting a family in 1957 Barb stayed home to nurture her growing family settling first in Leaside and then on Dawlish Ave for more then 50 years. We couldn’t have had a more loving, caring mother who always went above and beyond.

In the 1970’s Barb was a volunteer with the Children’s Aid Society. She would visit distressed mothers helping them cope with their young families under arduous circumstances. She always had sage advice or a shoulder to lean on when circumstances seemed overwhelming for the many families she supported.

Barb was a big lover of  the Ballet and a huge supporter of the National Ballet of Canada. She served on its volunteer committee in numerous roles for many years. As season ticket holders, this is often where her husband would catch up on his sleep! :)

Barb and Frank have been tremendous supporters of the University of Toronto. In 2006, they endowed the Barbara and Frank Milligan Graduate Fellowship program. This scholarship program was established to help fund post graduate students in the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering working on cutting edge research. To date this program has helped more then 200 students and will continue in perpetuity. They both received great satisfaction meeting the many recipients and hearing about their research and bright futures.

No one could host a party like Barb. From weekly family dinners, where the perfection of the cooked roast was regularly debated, to dinner parties with friends or large holiday parties, Barb welcomed everyone. A tremendous chef, she did it all. We will miss her many beautiful dinners that no one can quite replicate like her.

Travelling was a big passion of both Barb and Frank. There was always a trip in the wings to look forward to that would take them all over the world where they made many friendships. We are so grateful for the countless unforgettable trips down South at Christmas with our entire family.

Summers were spent in Muskoka on Lake Joseph with extended family re-unifying bonds  with cousins and grandkids.  As an active member of Muskoka Lakes Golf Club, Barb did her best to enjoy golf…. :)

Four years ago, Barb and Frank moved from their family home to the Dunfield Retirement Residence where they met many wonderful people. Our family would like to thank all the staff and residents for their support. We are also deeply grateful to Joy Ramirez and Maricar Alonzo for their loving care of our mother. They gave us great comfort knowing Mom was well cared for after Dad’s passing in the fall.

Due to Covid-19, a private family service will be held.

In lieu of flowers and in honour of Barb’s love for the Ballet, please consider a donation to the National Ballet of Canada or a charity of your choice.

 You will be with us forever mom, we love you.


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