December 1, 1927 – March 28, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
It is with tremendous sorrow and a profound sense of loss that we share with you the passing of our precious Mother. Mom passed away peacefully with family by her side at Cowichan District Hospital in Duncan, BC. She was 95 years old.
Mom was the oldest of seven children and first to be born Canadian, to parents David Arthur and Jean Mary (Wheler) Caldwell in their farmhouse in Saskatchewan in a small town called Yellow Grass, so small it was not even on the map.
Mom grew up in that long-ago time when homes had no plumbing or electricity. She remembers bearing the bitter winter cold to run to use the outhouse, with a lantern to light the way, and walking to school through snow tunnels. She also recalled being treated to lively displays of the Northern Lights.
When she was eighteen, Mom was living in Vancouver and attending sewing school where she met Barney Baines, the man who would become our father. Their shared love for dancing is what attracted them to one another. They met officially for the first time at a dance where they twirled the floor to “The Tennessee Waltz,” and never looked back.
On November 6, 1946, they married, and together, they had seven children; though, sadly, they lost their first-born son when he was an infant of just seven-weeks old. As they raised their six remaining children, Patrick (1948), Colleen (1952), Kathryn (1953), Donna (1955), Darlene (1958), and much later, James (1968), they lived in the Surrey area, where they cultivated many long-standing relationships with friends they met along the way.
Mom lived through the loss of a great many of these friends and always held dear the memories she had of them.
Mom lived her life with a quiet grace and an abundance of generosity, kindness and patience. She was a fun person who enjoyed playing pranks on her children, often hiding around corners and in closets, so she could leap out and scare the daylights out of whichever unsuspecting one of us happened along. Certainly, having a door slammed in her face and her glasses broken didn’t deter such shenanigans.
Having mastered the art of dressmaking and sewing, she would often be found at her sewing machine when we went to kiss her goodnight; she would place her hand on the sewing machine’s metal plate so when our lips touched, we would get a shock – giving a more realistic meaning to a “shocking kiss.”
Camping was always a fun time; something we did on most summer vacations, often with aunts and uncles and their families, giving us kids more memories to carry with us. An activity mom particularly liked was to go off into the bushes with us kids trailing her, looking for berries. Our father likened the scene to a she-bear and her cubs. That image has always brought on a smile.
When the older kids had left home, they took Darlene and James and moved to Salt Spring Island where they built a log home; a home they lived in for several years and one many of their grandchildren came to love, before the economy and a shortage of work forced them to move to Crofton on Vancouver Island.
They then purchased a property in Ladysmith and spent many more years, meeting more people and creating more friendships. They spent a great deal of their time at the Ladysmith legion and the senior’s center, enjoying lunches, musical entertainment and day trips to various places; always looking for their next adventure.
What they loved most was family gatherings that old-time friends were sure to attend. They spent many years in Ladysmith until Dad became ill in 2017 and they sold their home and moved to Duncan. Dad spent his remaining years at Sunridge Place and Mom at Biscay Manor, a place she loved living.
Mom and Dad’s family grew to include 15 grandchildren, Jill, David (Krista), Jason (Rachelle), Adam (Tiffany), Desmond, Leah (Brian), Simon (Nancy), Chad, Kira (Shawn), Matthew (Aurore), Ellie, Taylor (Mary), Daniel, Ryan and Grace; 17 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.
Mom was pre-deceased by infant brothers Charles (1936) and Robert (1937), infant son Timothy Allen (1947), mother Jean (1956), father David (1968), brother-in-law Dennis (2000), brother Ron (2018), husband Barney (2020), granddaughter Ellie (2020) and daughter Kathryn (2020).
At the time of our Father’s passing, Mom commented that she had spent her entire adult life with him.
Left to remember and hold dear their memories are children Patrick (Marla), Colleen (Dennis), Donna, Darlene and James (Heidi), brother Gerry (Lila), sister-in-law Erna, sister Marjorie (Ron), brother Ted (Lois), grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. Also feeling the sorrow is her long-time friend of more than 70 years, Sandy Leblanc, and more dear friends who have loved her along the way.
The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank-you to Erika and Dave at Biscay Manor who made the past six years of mom’s life the best it could be, Nurse Practitioner Sabrina Bridges who gave significant help and support, and the staff at CDH for their care and kind family-support during Mom’s last days.
One of the last things she was heard saying was, “could I be any more comfortable than I am right now?”
There simply aren’t the words to express the sense of loss we are feeling, momma. You are deeply loved and will truly be missed, your absence keenly felt. Until we meet again.
Interment will be on Friday, August 4 at 2:00 at Mountainview Cemetery at 6494 Somenos Rd in Duncan, BC.
The family will have a private Celebration of Life to honor our mother.Obituary-
- Support Centre
- Contact Us