Cover photo for Barbara Hortensia Fraser's Obituary
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Barbara Hortensia Fraser

May 4, 1930 — December 24, 2023


Barbara Hortensia Fraser

Barbara Hortensia Fraser died on December 24, 2023, at home, on her own terms, at the ripe old age of 93.  Though her health had been a constraint in her last few years, as always, she made the most of her circumstances, and loved life.  

Barbara, ‘Sugar’ to her family, was born on May 4, 1930 in Kingston, Jamaica. Raised by her grandmother after losing both parents at a young age, her positive and practical outlook on life was also much influenced by the nuns at the boarding school she attended in her formative years.  
In her early 20s, Barbara gathered her courage and left the embrace of the home she had always known, and by her own estimation a sheltered life, and moved to Montreal to live with her aunt Maria, and Maria’s husband, Geoff Gordon.  The Gordons became like parents to her and nurtured her growing sense of self, independence and confidence.  The Gordon home was a social hub, introducing Barbara to a rich community of people with diverse backgrounds and interests, laying the foundation for Barbara’s openness and appreciation for a variety of people throughout her life. 

She enjoyed a long career with Dupont as a secretary, moving from Montreal to Mississauga with the company during the great corporate exodus of the late 70s.  It was then that she moved into her Streetsville apartment where she was to live out the rest of her years.  In Mississauga, at age 40, she indulged a dream she’d had for several years of taking up horseback riding.  The stables were located where the 403 meets Mavis Road today, and sometimes she would ride to the Credit River near her apartment – all open fields in those days!  She eventually bought her own horse.  Jason was the love of her life, and riding brought her serenity from the stress of the world, as well as new friendships and even an entrepreneurial opportunity running a winter program for kids in the stables.  She reminisced about those times often in her later years.  

Barbara spurned at least one marriage proposal in favour of a life in which she was free to pursue her own interests, an unusual decision at the time.  She spoke fondly of a fabulous six-week adventure in Spain where she was able to indulge her love of the Spanish language and culture as well as equestrian pursuits.  Even in her last years, Barbara was interested in the world around her, what people were talking about, and even new technology.  She was a fierce competitor learning Spanish on Duolingo, aggressively guarding her number one spot in the rankings for hours spent practicing.  

Barbara was an inspiration, meeting challenges head-on with determination and a positive outlook, and living life to the fullest. She made friends wherever she went, many of whom were instrumental in helping her to remain independent in recent years.  Our thanks to the taxi drivers who walked (sometimes carried) her to her apartment, doctors and nurses who cared for her, volunteers who bonded with her and neighbors who kept an eye out.  We will all remember her with love. 

In her pragmatism, Barbara decided against a funeral service, but we will say a final goodbye at a graveside gathering for the interment of her ashes at Hope Cemetery (4660 Bank St, Ottawa, Ontario), on May 3, 2024 at 3:00 pm.  

To send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Hortensia Fraser, please visit our flower store.


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