Barbara McDougall, formerly of Eagle, 1928-2011 |

Barbara McDougall, formerly of Eagle, 1928-2011

Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado

Barbara Mary (Gillespie) McDougall passed away on Aug. 30 at the Heritage Park Care Center after a long illness. She was 83 years old.

Barbara was born in Detroit on April 14, 1928, to Douglas and June (Smith) Gillespie. After graduating from Southeastern High School, she worked for Detroit Edison and the City of Detroit. She married Thomas McDougall, her high school sweetheart, in June 1950. In 1952, they had a daughter, Laurie, and their son, Timothy, followed in 1954.

The family left Detroit in 1955 in what was to be the first of several relocations, primarily in the Midwest and Canada. Tom and Barbara later moved to California, where they both lived for many years. They divorced in 1974, but remained close friends until Barbara’s death.

Barbara began her newly single life in Lake Tahoe, Calif., with a career in the hotel business. She worked for several years at the Squaw Valley Lodge, then spent the remainder of her working life at Granlibakken Resort outside of Tahoe City. Many of her dearest friendships were made in the 19 years that she lived there.

She retired in 1993 and moved to Eagle County, where both of her children have resided since the early 1970s. Within four months, she moved into the Golden Eagle Apartments, where she lived until January. While in Eagle, she gave much of her time helping her fellow residents with home care and transportation. She also worked for meal services at the Senior Center, coordinating dining room volunteers, organizing holiday events, and collecting meal site statistics for their funding agency. She was recognized for her efforts by being named the Eagle County Senior of the Year. Over the 18 years she spent in Eagle County, she made close friends that returned the kindness she had shown others when circumstances left her housebound.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

In 1999, her only grandchild, Madeline Barbara McDougall, was born. Maddie loved her “Baba” very much and Baba loved her little “sweet pea.” They brought great joy to each other’s lives for 11 years.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; a brother; her aunt Beatrice “Rae” Paine; and her mother-in-law, Ida McDougall. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Laurie and Bob Graf, of Vail; her son and daughter-in-law, Tim and Mary McDougall and their daughter, Maddie, also of Vail; her friends Tom and Sharon McDougall, of Hurricane, Utah; and a cousin, Jim Paine, of Detroit. She will be deeply missed not only by her family, but also by the many friends she made wherever she lived.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations may be made in Barbara’s name to Home Care and Hospice of the Valley by check mailed to 234 Cody Lane, Basalt, CO 81621 or by credit card at; or to The Vail Valley Charitable Fund by check mailed to P.O. Box 2307, Edwards, CO 81632 or by credit card at A gathering of friends and family in Barbara’s honor will be planned and information will be provided.

Support Local Journalism