Published October 12, 2021
Published October 12, 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Barbara Lord on September 29, 2021. Born January 28, 1939 in Bronx, New York, Barbara Ann Lord (née Miller) was an astonishingly kind soul who was uncommonly troubled by meanness and inequality. Her tale (and that of her parents) was a rather common one of immigrant Jews from beyond the Pale of Settlement making their way to America. But in Barbara’s case that story took a Canadian turn, through marriage to a man she met while attending a Martin Luther King Jr. rally in the 60’s.
Barbara graduated from Redford High School in Detroit and earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She went on to build a career in social work, initially as a caseworker helping psychiatric patients in Chicago, then helping US military families in Germany. Most of her career however was spent tending to troubled youths and their families for Ville Marie Social Services in Montreal, and for The Children’s Aid Society of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry in Cornwall. Barbara deepened her engagements with life and her clients, obtaining a degree from The Alfred Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, and later in her career, she received her MSW from Carleton University’s program in Social Work.
An exceptionally devoted mother, a caring professional and a consummate (if not constant) reader, it will certainly be said of Barbara that she loved books. Her own personal library was extensive, with its collection of Latin American and German literature in translation, surpassed perhaps only by a university ‘s holdings. A big part of her legacy lies in her life-long inexhaustible effort to spread the joys of literature. She was a shining example to the power of imaginative fiction, and in life, something of a Johnny Appleseed of books, carefully selecting texts with which to gift those around her. None were to benefit more from this gifting than her children, and their families.
Barbara also possessed wild unconditional love for: bookstores, world travel, Placido Domingo, onions, Joseph Roth, the Cornwall Interfaith Partnership, combatting global inequality, sour cream, Nordic Noir, blintzes, Michael Chabon, every single dog on the planet, The Ottoman Empire, Ralph Ellison, progressive causes, literature on the Holocaust, national politics, Alan Furst, “Righteous Gentiles”, objects for left-handed people, chicken noodle soup, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Big Band music, the theme from the Onedin Line, bagels and lox, The Cornwall Library, WWI history, very strong coffee, Errol Flynn, Pierce Brosnan, Remington Steele, as well as everything and anything Jewish.
Above all Barbara will be remembered for her gentleness, and for the uncanny way she had of making all who met her feel at ease and accepted. Her generosity knew no bounds, and of everyone she met who could be moved by kindness, they would be changed forever. She was an immensely proud mother and grandmother whose passing creates a gaping hole in the hearts of her family. She leaves behind grandchildren: Anya, Hannah, Estelle, Camille; her own children: Charles (Chico), Jennifer, Sabrina, Daughter-in-law Patti; pets: Kiera, Fifi, Dini, Athena, and father of her children, companions till the end, Dr. Charles L.B. Lord and his family.
A service commemorating Barbara will be held at 11am October 16th at Knox-St Paul’s United Church in Cornwall with a burial afterwards in Laval QC. If you plan to attend please send an email to email@example.com so that we might also plan accordingly. In addition, a virtual/online shiva, or evening of remembrance will be held at 7pm, where we invite recollections of times spent with Barbara. Should you want to join us please email firstname.lastname@example.org.