Barbara Ann Winfield (nee Keyes), a resident of Port Hope, Ontario passed away on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at home in her 77th year.
She will be sadly missed by her family including her daughter, Laura Winfield Born (Jimmy), her son Scott Winfield (Michelle Comeau) and her grandchildren Taya Van Dyke, Grayson Winfield and Harrison Winfield. Also lovingly remembered by siblings, Rob Keyes (Barbara Jackson), Peg Kelly, and Carol Deimling (Peter) as well as her nephews and nieces including Elizabeth Kelly (Ryan Robb), Stephen Kelly (Krista Hull), Jeff Deimling (Meghan) and Brie Deimling (Tim Cormode). Loving great aunt of Payton and Olivia Deimling and Georgia Cormode. Barb was predeceased by her father William Keyes, her mother Margaret Keyes (nee Reek) and her sister Dr. Mary Keyes.
Barb was born to teach, to lead and to be the best friend ever. Her teaching and administrative years at Port Hope High School and later as Dean of the Centre for Individual Studies allowed her to provide academic, personal and career counselling to students many of whom were inspired to achieve their goals, venture out to study elsewhere and ultimately to launch successful careers.
Barb was diagnosed with MS in the early 80's. Despite her weakening condition over the years and her quadriplegic wheelchair-bound status later in life, Barb volunteered for a multitude of local causes and was recognized for her significant involvement and contribution. For many years, Barb and her friends with disabilities illustrated their unique talents at elementary school assemblies in order to teach the children the true meaning of accessibility and resiliency. Barb's passionate interest in mouth painting and resultant demonstrated skills were a testament to just what possibility and fortitude could accomplish.
Using her voice-activated computer, Barb not only managed her own personal affairs but also recruited volunteers each year to staff and support a variety of community events such as the Port Hope Jazz Festival, the town library elevator fundraiser, the annual participation in and fundraising of her 'Motley Majestics' team to benefit the MS Walk. All of her endeavours exemplified Barb's incredible skill and patience in 'rallying the troops' to help make Port Hope the great community it is today.
Barb's family, superb caregivers and friends meant the world to her. Together, in her adult years, at her home, they organized garden parties, painting sessions, fundraisers, political campaigns, holiday gatherings, book clubs, investment clubs, card nights, charade parties, gourmet cooking, birthday lunches, Christmas soiree light drives in her van, Christmas tree decorating and art shows. Anyone who attended any of these events felt most welcomed and cherished by Barb and her crew of merry makers. Friends would drop in on Barb with flowers from their own gardens, and home cooked meals, and even the latest town gossip for a bit of giggling and comic relief for those in attendance.
Her friends who read to her from favourite books, meditated at her bedside or simply spent time visiting and reviewing the topics of the day, all brought pure pleasure to their shared experiences.
Her dear caregivers, respected and loved Barb because she showed them how to live and laugh, stand up and be heard, but most of all how to be inclusive, to be exceptional citizens and neighbours. Some of her caregivers took driving lessons, art lessons and volunteered in the community. Those new to Canada were encouraged to apply for citizenship for themselves and their families.
Barb exhibited to the end, her positive outlook, her dignity, her patience and perseverance, her determination, her courage and her deep love for family and friends. She was particularly proud of the accomplishments of her daughter and son and her caregivers. We have all lost a wonderful person, a loving Mother, a great friend, a cherished aunt and sister. Please, let's pause for a moment and reflect about all of our good times with Barb. She is now our guiding star.
The family would like to thank especially Barb's amazing caregivers Josie, Christina, Michelle and Carol and also the nurses from Saint Elizabeth and from Central East LHIN, all who have provided so much compassionate care particularly over the past several months.
A celebration of Barb's life will be held at St. Mark's Parish Hall, 51 King Street, Port Hope, Saturday April 27 from 2 pm until 5 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Port Hope Public Library, 31 Queen Street, Port Hope, On L1A 2Y8, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, 250 Dundas Street West, Suite 500, Toronto, On M5T 2Z5 or to the charity of your choice.
Expressions of friendship, photos and other remembrances may be forwarded to