Obituary of Barbara Nokes
“Please be NICE to each other, ENJOY each other, LOVE each other.” -Barbara J. Nokes
Barbara J. Nokes was lifted to heaven on April 7, 2023. Her smile lit up the room.
Family was everything to Barbara. Her ongoing love is held in the hearts of her three daughters: Carla Stewart and her husband Paul Stewart, Pamela Windsor and her husband Kenny Windsor, and Jocelyn Nokes and her husband Frank Reinhold. Barbara is also survived by her three grandchildren: Eric Stewart, Jessica Windsor, and Brandon Windsor, and her great granddaughter Coral Stewart, Barbara is also survived by her brother, Richard Winters, and his wife, Barbara’s dear friend Janet, and extended family.
Smart, strong, beautiful, kind, creative and classy describe Barbara. But there are many stories behind those words. The following is a small sample… we invite you to add your stories and memories of Barbara as well.
Barbara, a proud native Californian, was the youngest of two children born to Joseph and Dorothy Winters. She attended Dorsey High School in Los Angeles where she introduced her friend to her brother and a 60+ year love connection flourished. Barbara migrated to Florida in 2001, moving closer to her daughters.
Barbara enjoyed a challenge. Her strength showed through when she alone was tasked with driving 3 young daughters, a dog, a rabbit, and a guinea pig safely across the country on snow tires. It was a story she told often! She always put her family first, delaying her goals, while pushing her children to achieve theirs. But when the time came, she was tenacious in achieving her own goals. She dreamed of earning her college degree and proudly achieved that goal, with honors, in her fifties.
Barbara worked for the Saddleback Valley Unified School District as an elementary school education assistant, then as an educator of special needs children and adults, and later in human resources. She developed a successful marketing campaign for the popular “Eagle Treats” cookies made by the Esperanza Adult Transition Program clients. Volunteering was a way of life for Barbara earning her the “Woman of the Year” award. She was an active member of the Rotary Club, a classroom volunteer at her children’s schools and held several PTA and PTSO positions. For several years she volunteered to run an election polling station out of her garage, spending countless hours preparing for and working on election days. Barbara had a strong relationship with God. One of the many ways she served Him was to be involved with her Church including volunteering with Catholic Charities and Helping Hands organizations. Additionally, she was an empowering role model serving as troop leader for several Girl Scout troops.
She displayed her talent for the arts by learning to read music, play the piano and violin, and passing those skills onto her daughters. She also played the accordion in school! She loved to sing and never passed up the opportunity to see a musical or concert. Her skill at dancing became apparent when at 15, she won first prize in a dance contest, many more accolades followed. Her happiness radiated as she continued to heat up the dance floor throughout her life. Barbara could disco, ballroom, swing, Latin and freestyle dance with the best of them and always with a big smile on her face! She became an active square dancer for several decades, also contributing to her square dance community by holding several club offices.
Barbara loved traveling and learning about other cultures, an extensive bell collection commemorates her adventures. She often spoke of how fun touring Europe was, but she loved the beauty of United States the most. Barbara was an outdoors woman. An avid camper and hiker who introduced her daughters to her beloved National Parks and Sierra Nevada mountains. She taught her daughters campfire songs while wearing her famous fluorescent sweatshirts, and instilled safety, leave no trace, and respect for the beauty of nature. A skillful S’more chef, she believed 3 marshmallows was the perfect amount because 4 will break a chair! Her guilty pleasure was stepping on road apples that are the perfect consistency… if you know, you know!
Barbara also loved animals. She trained several of her own dogs, earning top honors in obedience competitions. Barbara volunteered extensively at several animal rescue organizations and Humane Societies throughout the years. She helped animals adjust to shelter conditions while also working to find them forever homes. She was hands on with dogs, cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs, but don’t ask her to handle the reptiles, she was not a fan of them! While volunteering at these organizations Barbara also brought some of the animals into her home as fosters. A few of those fosters never left, living their best lives as her adopted pets. She was also known by her grand dogs and the neighborhood dogs as the lady who always had a biscuit at the ready for polite pups who happened to visit.
Barbara loved fiercely with all her heart and showed it by taking time to do special meaningful things. She was incredibly proud of her 3 daughters and wrote messages telling them so on their napkins when packing their lunches, serving as surprise midday pick-me-ups. When her children became adults, she mailed encouraging and entertaining articles regularly, sometimes just because she knew it was fun to receive mail. Barbara always signed those notes with her signature heart and arrow. She always hand wrote and mailed cards and thank you notes. She never showed up to an event or friend’s home empty handed. Using her creative skills, Barbara sewed some of her daughters’ everyday clothing, ball gowns for dances, and the victory flag that still flies over Mission Viejo High School after winning sporting events. She was a master at giving unique gifts and inventive wrapping techniques.
Mickey Mouse, Sees Candy, impeccable record keeping, crunchy chips, and general silliness; these and so many more are the stories that will always keep her memory alive in our hearts.
Barbara will return to California to be interred at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery beside her parents, Dorothy and Joseph.
“Ye shall Live As Long As Thy”
Vigil and Rosary
Vigil 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Rosary 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Beckman-Williamson Funeral Homes and Crematory
5400 Village Drive
Viera, FL 32955
Friday, April 28, 2023
St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
5655 Stadium Pkwy
Melbourne, FL 32940
May 3, 2023 at 11:00AM
Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery
5835 W. Slauson Ave
Culver City, CA 90230