Barbara Killins was born February 21, 1918, before the end of WWI. In her hundred years of living she has experienced a century of change and a century of wonderful friendships and memories. Some of her best memories came from her five years living in Mesquite, where she was an avid and accomplished bridge player.
Bar, as she is known by her friends, made her career as a teacher in Traverse City and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Married to Dave Killins, she raised two sons, Tom and Sandy. Career moves took them to San Francisco in 1945 and then on to Florida in 1972. She was active in politics and a leader in her Pi Beta Phi college sorority alumnae club throughout her life.
Bar’s sons both lived in Mesquite for a period, and Bar moved here when she was nearly 90.
Not one to depend on others to fill her social calendar, she sought out bridge playing opportunities and made contact with other Pi Beta Phi members in the city. She organized monthly luncheons with those sorority sisters, Lenora Hutchins, Linda Faas, Mary Walsh, and Shirley Ward.
Bar moved back to south Florida five years ago, renewing friendships with a number of old friends. She also kept in touch with her Mesquite friends who were concerned for her safety when Hurricane Irma hit last fall. Since this was the third such storm she weathered, Bar and her son Tom didn’t evacuate their Ft Lauderdale home, but suffered through a week without power and water.
This past week on Feb. 21, Tom hosted a lively 100th birthday celebration for his remarkable mother at their home. Surrounded by friends, Bar was seated on her walker, like a queen on her throne, with bright eyes and wide smile. As guests and relatives arrived from as far away as Seattle, she greeted each with a warm handshake and hug. Her sharp memory pulls names and events into focus, recalling significant times she shared with each of them. Among her dozens of cards, she received congratulatory letters from the governors of Florida and Michigan.
A petite woman, Bar enjoyed a generous slice of splendid birthday cake baked by old friends. No doubt her friends and family will soon be planning another birthday party for this lovely centenarian!
Happy Birthday, Bar! Here’s wishing you many good years ahead! You and your joy of life are an inspiration to all!