Barbara Jane Holden Collier
Surrounded by her loving family, Barbara Collier (nee Holden) passed away peacefully in Almonte, Ontario. She is predeceased by her infant twin sister Joy, her parents Hastie and Rita Holden, her brothers Rodney and Richard, and the love of her life, her husband Martin (2007). She will always be remembered with great joy by her four children, their spouses, and her grandchildren who were all dear to her heart: Doug and Chris, Robin and Shannon; Geoff and Wendy, Ryan (Maud) and Thomas (Noëlle); Marty and Mary; and Patricia and Randy (Larkin), Hannah (Garrett), Martha (Mark), and Jillian. Also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Born in Montreal, Barb attended Roslyn School and Westmount High, and graduated from McGill University with a diploma in physio and occupational therapy in 1952. While at Westmount High, she met her lifetime partner and best friend Martin. Together for almost 60 years, including 53 years married, they followed her favorite motto: “Live, Love and Laugh!”. We know they are together again after seeing a double rainbow the evening she died.
Barb loved her family and friends deeply and with an open heart. She was a great communicator and, being ‘Techie Granny’, kept in touch both on screen and off with family and friends spread across Canada, the USA, Holland and England. During her meaningful 90 years of life, she always listened carefully and laughed easily. For her children and grandchildren, she was a sage and non-judgmental sounding board.
Barb was a stay-at-home mother until 1974 when she began her professional career as an occupational therapist (OT) in Montreal and went on to be a respected member of geriatric assessment teams in Cornwall, Ottawa, and Cobourg. Supporting many clients with her knowledge-based and empathetic approach, she also provided leadership by introducing Remotivation Therapy and Seniors’ Fitness to the Cornwall area. After retirement, Barb and Martin founded the Cobourg Prostate Cancer Support Group.
Although Barb enjoyed living in Montreal, Cornwall, Cobourg and Almonte, a very special place to spend time with family and friends was Lake Manitou in the Laurentians. Besides socializing and working on rustic cottages, she would play tennis, swim, dive, canoe and hike with athletic prowess – and won the Manitou Regatta Townsend Cup at the age of 14. She also relished competitive, and laugh-filled, games of cribbage. Although nobody kept track, she definitely won more than she lost. An avid traveler, international, national, and local trips with family and friends were invigorating and renewed her spirit.
Never afraid to talk about death and dying, Barb left us ‘her way’. With her four supportive children by her side, she closed her eyes and passed peacefully with dignity. Thank you to Dr. Milko, Dr. Ray, and the compassionate staff at the Orchard View on the Mississippi Retirement Residence.
Barb will certainly be missed but her spirit will always be with us. A private celebration of life will occur at the Belleville Cemetery at a later date. For those wishing to donate in her memory, please consider Child Haven International, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, March of Dimes Canada or a charity of your choice.
Afterglow - Helen Lowrie Marshall
I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one,
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when day is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times, and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Enjoy the memories that I leave behind when day is done.