Barbara May McFarlane (Ritchie)

October 13, 1940 ~ November 8, 2017

Born in Stonewall, MB, Barbara attended school in Lethbridge and Calgary AB; she was employed by Marshal Auto Wreckers in Lethbridge, Marshal & Donlevy Printing in Calgary, Philips Cable in Regina, operated Barb’s Bed & Breakfast in Whitehorse where she also sold 5th Avenue Jewellery.

Barbara married Blaine McFarlane July 17, 1965 in Calgary. They moved to Whitehorse in 1986 and retired to Tagish in 1995.  In 1996, they became snowbirds travelling south to Arizona for the winter months.  Barbara enjoyed cooking and entertaining; she loved dancing, doing crafts, attending aquasize classes and teaching life skills to our nephews and nieces. She was a very intelligent, loving lady who will be missed.

Predeceased by her mother, Barbara Ritchie (Bruce), brother James Bruce Ritchie, niece Brenda Lynne Ritchie, father William Beveridge Ritchie, stepmother May Ritchie (Coleman) and uncle Jock Ritchie. Survived by husband, Blaine Arthur McFarlane, brother-in-law Bryant McFarlane (Marian), sister-in-law Susan Crockett (McFarlane), nephews Alan Ritchie (Sharon), David McFarlane, Todd McFarlane (Dana), Gary Hillaby (Ali), Brent Hillaby (Sarah); niece Michelle La France (Sean); 6 grandnephews & nieces: Nicole Segstra (Torin), Scott Ritchie (Tina), Fynn McFarlane, Ethan La France, Austin La France and Adam Hillaby; and 4 great-grand nephews & nieces: Triston Segstra, Landon Segstra, Benjamin Ritchie and Samantha Ritchie.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Barbara at the Golden Age Society on Sunday, November 26th at 1:30pm.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Calgary & Arizona at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice.



  1. Blaine McFarlane (more to come)

    Barbara’s father Bill Ritchie immigrated to Canada from Aberdeenshire, Scotland when he was 16. He first worked on a farm in Ontario then moved to Manitoba as a farm worker on a large farm. One day they were digging a well & they hit natural gas…they put a collection system on the well & piped it in to the wood stove which they converted to burn the gas for heat & cooking. One Xmas the farmer bought his wife a grand piano..Bill asked if he could have the large wooden crate it was shipped in..he used it to build the roof on his first home..a Soddy. He wrote home to Scotland to ask his girl friend to move to Canada & marry him. Her father disowned her when she accepted because because as the eldest daughter she was expected to stay & raise her siblings & also because she would be moving so far away they would never see her again and she was also going to marry a man with no trade. Her sisters later told us they were not allowed to say goodbye, they watched from an upstairs window as she walked away to catch the coach to take her to the harbour to board the boat to Canada. They settled on a farm near Stonewall where Bill raised & trained Clysdale horses for the surrounding farms. Bill & Barbara had 2 children James(16 years older than Barb) and Barb who was born when her mother was 43. During the US prohibition Bill was financed by Americans to build a still in his manure pile & given a 1/4 ton truck to smuggle jugs of booze weekly across the border. He did this successfully for several years by managing to outrun the border police but one time after wrecking 2 police cars in the chase they caught him & put him out of business. In court they told him his insurance would have to pay for the wrecked cars..he replied I dinna have insurance nor a licence. The judge said when you apply for a licence you will have to satisfy this claim..Bill replied that he would never drive again & he didn’t. Bill was very patriotic & when Britain declared war he volunteered and served in both World Wars. Barb’s mother died whenBarb was 3 years old. Bill was released from the army & they moved to Lethbridge AB where he worked at Sick Brewary. Bill remarried when Barbara was 8 years old. Her stepmother May Ritchie(Coleman) was a wonderful mother to her.
    On one summer vacation Bill hired a cab & they went to a cottage at Lake Louise. While there a knock came at the door & a man asked if he could borrow a corkscrew as their cabin didn’t have one. Barb asked “are you Joe Dimagio” and he answered”Yes & Marilyn Monroe my wife is with me, would you like to meet her & get an autograph”. Of course she did but it has been lost.

  2. Blaine McFarlane

    Barb’s first job after high school was working in the office at Marshal Auto Wreckers in Lethbridge. As well as supplying parts for pickers they combined wrecks with good engines with great bodies & seized motors to sell great used cars. Her first car which the shop prepared for her was a 4 door 1953 Meteor. When I met her she had a luxury apartment, a fur coat,a set of stainless steel pots & pans and dressed to kill & drove a black 1957 2 door hardtop Buick with a new engine and transmission again prepared especially for her by shop. What a catch.she would be. We met at Swinging Singles Square Dance lessons offered by the city of Calgary. I tried to woo her by offering to drive her home..she had her own car so I walked her to her car. I finally asked her out to a live performance of ” A Taste of Honey ” & Chinese food after & she was mine.

  3. Blaine McFarlane

    Barb learned to love fishing when I took her to our family cottage in northern Manitoba at Flin Flon. There isa picture of my 35# 6 oz lake trout which she had to successfully net or land in the drink if she missed. She would happily sit in the boat fishing for up to 16 hours a day. We often had fish fry’s on an island. She regularly outfished me. One of my July birthdays she gave me a float trip fishing on the Kenai River in Alaska (for 2). She got a big fish on her line & I helped her pump the rod while she realed. After 35 minutes she handed me the rod & said Happy Birthday. I fought the fish & finally landed it after 25 more minutes. It was the largest King Salmon caught that season to date..60 pounds. Barb got her picture in the Soldatna paper & we ate beautiful salmon all winter. On another holiday trip to Zewahtenae Mexico we went fishing & guess who caught a 115# sailfish…we had it mounted to display beside my lake trout. She named it Sally the sailfish.

  4. Blaine McFarlane

    We stopped Square dancing because the Swinging Singles didn’t accept couples. When we moved to the Yukon we joined Fireweed Square Dance Club where we took lessons again and met Ken and Dorthy Burke who were in our original dance classes in Calgary. We made many great friendships & had a lot of great Times Square dancing.

  5. Blaine McFarlane

    In 1996 we made our first winter trip to Arizona. We thought we would buy a fifth wheel & travel for a few years…but after renting for 3years in Az we bought a park model trailer on a lot in Roadrunner Lake Resort in Scottsdale. We fell in love with the park & have a wonderful Family of friends there. This year we celebrated our 20 th year as Snowbirds. I will be going down to attend a Celebration of Life for Barb( and me) at a later date.

  6. Susan

    I have been thinking a lot about Barb since I heard of her passing.
    She loved her crafting and over the years I was the happy recipient of many of her beautiful creations.
    She always presented herself in a very lady-like manner- quite an Emily Post.
    I will never be able to express my never-ending gratitude for Blaine and Barb’s extremely generous hospitality shown to us in our time of need.
    She was blessed to have such loving care that was given her by Blaine over the last years.
    My prayers are with you.

  7. Bob Ehman

    From the obituaries, someone who lived a full, enriched life has left us for another life. We all remember all those great days , the square dancing, Tagish cabin on the river, the Saskatoon berry patch, the berries for pie, and snowbirding in Arizona.. Barb was always positive, kind and welcoming, a friendly smile and chuckle for all. May she rest in peace, as she embarked on the new eternal life… Goodbye. Heidi & Bob Ehman

  8. Sharon Ritchie

    There are just no words to express how saddened we have felt since Barbs sudden passing….we all loved her dearly. She was very special “Aunt” to us all and we will miss her so very much.
    We are thankful for the many happy times we shared and the priceless memories too, and those memories will be a comfort when we lovingly “Remember You” May you rest peacefully in Gods Garden, Auntie Barb.

    Love Sharon and Alan,
    Nicole, Torin, Tristan, Landon
    Scott, Tina, Benjamin and Samantha

  9. Winnie and Dick Anderson

    Barb truly was a special friend and role model to many people. Her kindness, her sweetness,and her sense of humor were enjoyed by all. Her generosity was well known. We feel Blessed to have had her and Blaines friendship for so many years. The memories are precious and we are thankful for them.
    You are Missed by many at Road Runner Park. We love you ,Barb and we are so pleased that you had the best caregiver .We thank you Blaine. Love and Gods Peace, Dick and Winnie


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