Barbara Haskell

Obituary of Barbara Haskell

Barbara Ellen Haskell, November 10,1933 – September 4, 2023

It is a struggle to find the words to describe Barbara Ellen Haskell, who had a medically assisted death on the morning of September 4th, 2023. Barb was surrounded by her family on her final days. She danced, laughed, chatted, drank champagne, ate chocolate cake and french fries, and reminisced about favourite life memories. Barb was quirky, vibrant, strong and courageous. She was especially clever, curious and funny.

She narrated her daily life and experiences with vivid, creative storytelling. She loved adventures, including travel, long road trips, spending winters in Florida, summers in Erieau, and spending time with family. She had many artistic hobbies throughout her lifetime, including stained glass and painting. She passionately loved dogs. She loved walking her dog, and there was always a dog. Her apartment was bursting with dog paintings, dog statues and even a stuffed dog cushion.

Barb was born in Ridgetown to Ellen (Buller) and James Hearns in 1933, predeceased by her sisters Betty, Margaret, Velma and brother Arthur.  She lived the majority of her life in Chatham, Ontario, and gave life to daughters Debra (Gallie), Patricia (Franco) (deceased), Dr. Lori Haskell, C.M., (Melanie) and son Todd Haskell (Nurse Geri). She raised her four children while working full time at Public General Hospital in Chatham. She loved her grandchildren Jenna, Tara, Natacha, Lance, Shane, Taylor, and Phil, and her eight great grandchildren, Ellie, Nelson, Alice, Brendan, Hayley, Preslee, Cora and Penelope.

Barbara had many happy years with her partner Douglas Donaldson; they lived in Stratford, Erieau and Florida before returning to Chatham. In her final years Barb moved to Toronto to live with her daughter Lori and partner Melanie (Randall). During her Toronto years she made many friends particularly if they had a dog (Mike and dog Archie, Aniella and dogs Diggie and Walter). West Neighbourhood House provided support and community, she enjoyed the dances in the park and singing with the other seniors.

Her final months included loving care by her PSW Maribel. She received outstanding care by Dr. Sabrina Akhtar, Dr. Paula Harvey and her pharmacist Lucia Bertilli. She was loved and adored and will be greatly missed by all of us. Her planned death meant she was able to receive many teary goodbyes and expressions of love. Barb lived and died with courageous determination.

As per Barb’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a family celebration of life will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Barb prefers donations to support West Neighborhood House (Ossington Street) in Toronto. Arrangements entrusted to McKinlay Funeral Home, 459 St. Clair St, Chatham, where online condolences can be left.

McKinlay Funeral Home

459 St. Clair Street, Chatham



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