Barbara Clow

Obituary of Barbara Joan Clow



“Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”


Following a 47 year battle with multiple sclerosis, Barbara passed away at home on July 15, 2022 at age 71.  She fought MS to the end, a time of her own choosing, and would not let it dictate the outcome.


She died peacefully, held tightly and lovingly in the arms of her husband of 50 years, Graham, and surrounded by her three boys.  Barbara was predeceased by her parents, Gwen and Jack Bower-Binns.  She leaves behind her three greatest achievements - Chris (Erin), Michael (Patricia), and Brian (Michael).  Although disability made her unable to be the Grandma she wanted to be, she was hugely proud of Aidan and Reid in Maryland and Ophelia and Georgia in London, UK.  She also leaves her siblings – Elizabeth (Doug), Tony (Joan), Linda (Dan), and an extended family.


Barbara was born in Ottawa in 1950 and grew up in the Alta Vista area, attending Hillcrest High.  She graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in English in 1972.  Following graduation, she embarked with Graham on a lifelong adventure in the mining business.  She set  up and ran happy homes in many places, including British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Oakville, Nanisivik on Baffin Island, Vancouver, London UK, and finally Toronto and North Palm Beach, Florida.  Along the way she was a hockey mom, school volunteer, French teacher, and Cub leader.  Despite all the moving around, she managed to raise her boys to be strong, confident, caring men with successful families and careers. 


Barbara always maintained an active and positive outlook in everything she did.  She was a ballet dancer as a young girl, an avid skier at Camp Fortune as a teenager, and a 10k competitor at Nanisivik.  She enjoyed camping, cottaging, and many ski holidays until the MS took over.  As the disease started to take its toll, she set her mind to writing her autobiography, hoping to provide others with the lessons learned from her journey.


Above all, she was a mother and a caring friend who left an enduring legacy through her bravery.  She was dearly loved by everyone who knew her and she will be greatly missed.


Barbara was thankful and grateful for her caregiving team of Cecile, Mary, Layla, and Donna and, in particular, Cindy Abarro, who was her main caregiver and companion/best friend for so many years.


A celebration of life will be held on Wednesday September 21, at the National Club in Toronto, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.  Interment will be at a private family service at Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston.  Donations in Barbara’s memory can be made to Ronald McDonald House or another charity of your choice.  Condolences and memories can be shared at 


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