Obituary of Barbara Jean Woods
BARBARA JEAN WOODS (nee Smith)
On May 24, 2022, at age 93, Barbara died peacefully in her home in the Dunfield Retirement Residence, joining her loving husband Kenneth Stanford Woods, who died in 2007. She is deeply missed by her daughters, Cynthia Woods and Christine Crowell (Glenn), her son Larry Woods (Deborah Penton) and her four cherished grandchildren, Michael and Timothy Woods and Matthew and Lindsey Crowell.
Born in Toronto, Barbara grew up in North Toronto and Oakville. In her high school years during the Second World War, she supported the war effort by working on local farms, travelling to and from work on her bicycle.
Barbara tremendously enjoyed her four years as a student at the University of Toronto, (University College), where she lived in Whitney Hall. She was a strong student and enjoyed an active social life as a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, playing bridge and ice hockey.
Barbara and Ken met as summer camp counsellors in the 1940’s and they got married on May 30, 1952. After Ken joined Simpsons-Sears in 1953, they moved with their growing family to Prince Albert and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Belleville, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. They moved back to Toronto in 1971 and settled in Lawrence Park, where Barbara lived in her home for more than 40 years.
Ken often said marrying Barbara was the best decision he ever made. She was a devoted and loving wife, mother and grandmother, and took great pride in the activities and accomplishments of her children and grandchildren. She loved visiting her grandchildren in Ottawa, Vermont, Utah and at Larry’s cottage on Leggat Lake. She placed high importance on education, a value she learned from her mother Jean Smith, a proud U of T graduate.
Barbara was a classy, elegant woman who loved being with people. She had a positive, enthusiastic attitude and a delightful sense of humour. She was a gracious hostess who excelled at entertaining people in her home or on Ken’s sailboat. Her warm, engaging personality would immediately put people at ease and guests always felt welcome.
An avid curler, golfer, bridge player and flower lover, Barbara greatly appreciated and enjoyed her memberships at the Granite Club, Toronto Ladies Golf Club, the Garden Club of Toronto and in University Women’s Club chapters in each city she called home.
For many years, she and Ken vacationed at Sandestin Resort in Destin, Florida. Barbara loved golfing, socializing, and “retail therapy” with friends and family. She was proud to have made a hole-in-one while golfing there.
Barbara and Ken travelled the world together until he passed away. Cynthia then took on the role of travel companion and Barbara continued seeing the world. Barbara’s favourite destinations were San Francisco and Europe, especially Paris.
Barbara moved to the Dunfield in May, 2012 soon after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She took full advantage of the social activities, concerts and excursions with many old and new friends.
Although a fall in 2018 limited her mobility and independence, she never lost her sense of humour and was still engaged with her friends. The amazing team at the Dunfield provided wonderful and loving care to Barbara in challenging times. She continued to enjoy socializing even as her memory faded. When going for walks around the neighbourhood, she would often call out “hello!” to people - strangers included.
Barbara was gracious and elegant to the end, despite her physical and cognitive decline. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Friends will be received for visitation at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville) from 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 5th. A celebration of Barbara’s life will take place in the chapel at 1:00 p.m. and will be followed by a reception on the upper level.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society or Alzheimer's Society of Canada would be much appreciated.