Monday, July 15, 2024
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Barbara Cain: 1941-2024


Barbara Cain passed peacefully at home March 10, 2024, surrounded by her loving family. She fought a long and difficult battle with pancreatic cancer.

Barbara June Autry was born at home on October 28, 1941, in Ontario, California, where she lived with her parents until she and Ben married June 29, 1961.

Her parents were Buel Columbus and Zelma Mae Autry. She had an older brother, Billie Eugene, a younger brother, Bobby Joe, and a younger sister, Bonnie Jean. They all predeceased her.

She was a Christian her whole life. Her family were all members of the Temple Baptist Church in Ontario, California. She was very active there in Sunday School and youth groups. Barb and Ben’s first date was at a beach party sponsored by her church.

She attended South Euclid Elementary, Vina Danks Jr. High, and Chaffey Union High School, graduating in 1959. She obtained an Associate of Arts degree from Chaffey College, in Alta Loma, California, in 1961. She was very active in the Girl Scouts and had many merit badges on her sash to prove it.

She was always very athletic, competing in sports, and she was a song/cheerleader in high school and college. She was very intelligent and a hard worker. That combination made her an outstanding student. Later in life, she became a golfer. She loved playing and played regularly with the Ladies Club at Lynnwood. She served as Treasurer for the Club. She got a hole-in-one while playing on vacation with Ben in 2021.

Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Phoenix, Arizona. They lived there for 12 years. Their first two daughters, Shannon and Erin, were born there.

Barbara was a stay-at-home mom. She devoted her life to providing a wonderful home for her daughters and Ben. She was always very involved in helping at their schools. She also was a leader for a YMCA young girls youth group – “Y Indian Maidens,” that the girls belonged to.

Ben and Barb were members, and very involved, at Epworth Methodist Church in Phoenix. They were counselors for a young adult singles group, sponsored by the church. The group (usually 15-20) met at their home every Sunday night for volleyball, food, and fellowship; they did this for about 7 years.

Barbara was an excellent cook. She also became an excellent seamstress and made most of the girls’ clothing. She started out using an old treadle Singer sewing machine that Ben paid $5 for at an estate sale.

In 1973 the family moved to Westlake Village, California, where she had their third daughter, Maureen. They were there for about two years. Barbara was once again very involved in the girls’ school even though she had a new baby.

In 1975 the family moved to Edmonds. For many years she was very active at the Edmonds United Methodist Church and her daughters’ schools. She was a wedding consultant at the church, helping people plan their weddings. She served as a tutor in a program to help Vietnamese children learn English. She also was a Blue Bird leader.

Barbara was also very active in the Edmonds Arts Festival, serving on the Board of Directors for several years, as well as being a volunteer coordinator for many years.

She lived to serve others! She had natural leadership qualities. She served on two HOA Boards. She was a member of a book club in Edmonds, “The Literary Ladies.” She was also a member of Edmonds Garden Club that was affiliated with the Seattle Arboretum. She served on the Board and was Treasurer.

She was also involved helping Ben with Lynnwood Rotary Club projects over the years. They were Host Couple for the President’s Club at the Washington State International Air Fair that was sponsored and produced by the Club.

About 1981-82, when Ben quit his job and started his own business, money was very tight. Ben could not afford any staff, so she helped out by doing some clerical work for the business. Later on, she did the bookkeeping and payroll for the business for many years.

She taught herself to make wedding cakes and started her own business from home – “Tiers of Joy.” She did this for several years and had an excellent reputation as well as earning spending money.

Barbara was also very artistic. She did crafts and needlework. She liked yard work and filled pots with beautiful flowers.

It was no coincidence that she and Wonder Woman were born the same year. People often got them mixed up. In addition, the Barbie Doll was born the year Barbara graduated from high school.

On July 3, 1999, Barbara received her first and only grandchild, Colton Taylor Cumpston, born to Erin, their middle daughter. He lived close by, and she was in her glory! They had a very special relationship.

She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Ben, her three daughters, Shannon Cain (Christopher Toney), Erin Cain, Maureen Conant (Seth), and their grandson, Colton Cumpston

Barbara was loved by all who knew her. Her quick smile and positive attitude will be missed by her family and her many friends.

There will be a Celebration of Life at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 2, at the Edmonds Yacht Club 326 Admiral Way, Edmonds. Please RSVP by email to: Lunch will be served.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Chaffey High School Alumni Association, Attn: Vickee Duncan, 1245 N. Euclid Ave., Ontario, California, 91702. A scholarship fund has been established in her name.