Obituary of Barbara Jean Sinclair
After a seven-year battle against cancer, Barbara Jean Sinclair passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 18, 2024, with family by her side, at the young age of 62.
Barb is survived by her husband Lyle Sinclair; children Amanda (Jared) and Jonathon; grandson Lachlan; siblings Theresa Arsenault, Cathy Leippi, Mary Dobson, and Tim Guthrie; loving in-laws Lynn Shambell, Colleen Lundy, Doug Sinclair, and Heather Lawrence; as well as many other family members and friends. Barb was predeceased by her parents Pat and Bill Guthrie; and brothers David and Harry.
Barb was born in Regina and met her eventual husband, Lyle Sinclair, while she was working at the Muir Barber Limited Store in Regina Beach. Captivated by her smile and spitfire attitude, Lyle courted Barb for one year before getting married on August 3, 1985. Barb and Lyle spent the early years of their marriage living in Cathedral Village in Regina, where Barb ran an in-home daycare and began raising their two children, Amanda and Jonathon.
Barb once said, “When I was a child, I used to daydream about horses. I sketched horses, I read about horses, and when I wrote I dotted my ‘I’s with horse heads. My mother used to say, Barb get this horse business out of your head!” Thus, motivated by her love of horses and their shared desire to raise a family in a quiet, rural, setting, Barb and Lyle moved to Earl Grey, SK in 1993. Living on an acreage she named “Sinclair Stables”, Barb continued her role as a devoted mother and loving wife, as well as used her artistic talent to run a local business (Collectable Rocking Horses) with her sister Mary Dobson, selling paintings, miniature rocking horses, and child’s hobby horses.
Barb was an active member of the Earl Grey community, through supervision activities at the Earl Grey school, 4H involvement, and helping during bailing season. Within the community, Barb was also known for her love of animals and open nature, so much so that Sinclair Stables became a haven for all kinds of animals, whether it be a stray cat or injured bird, Barb welcomed all animals with open arms. After collecting what her family affectionately referred to as a “veritable zoo”, in 2010 Barb decided her collection was not complete until she had a parrot as well. So, later that year, Lyle bought Barb a Blue and Gold Macaw, Annie. Through this, Barb and Lyle became active members of the Regina bird club (Squawk and Talk) and would often bring Annie on trips to local stores. In 2014, Barb’s love and joy expanded as she welcomed her grandson, Lachlan, into the family. Barb enjoyed being a grandmother just as much as she enjoyed motherhood, cherishing every hockey game, snowboard lesson, and sleep over spent with Lachlan. Lachlan became a frequent visitor to Sinclair Stables over the years, where he immersed himself in the same love for animals that his grandmother had instilled in the family. Barb, with her nurturing spirit, made sure that the farm became a magical playground for Lachlan, filled with adventures and the joy of rural life. Barb and Lyle also spent many nights video chatting and reading bedtime stories to Lachlan which created cherished memories even from afar.
The warmth and love Barb has shared throughout her life has created a legacy of kindness, support, and family bonds within the Sinclair household. With her devotion to God and a nurturing disposition, Barb consistently aimed to contribute positively to the world around her. She will be remembered as a compassionate, kind, and loving woman who cared deeply for all of those around her.
A Private Family Graveside was held. A Celebration of Barb’s Life will take place at a later date. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared below. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to a charity of your choice.
Love of Horses Leads to a Rewarding Career
By Pamela Cowan
of The Leader-Post
September 22, 1994
Saskatchewan artist Barbara Sinclair supports her “habit” by making “Collectible Rocking Horses.”
“When I was a child I used to daydream about horses,” Sinclair said. “I sketched horses, I read about horses and when I wrote I dotted my ‘i’s with horse heads. My mother used to say ‘Barb get this horse business out of your head.’”
Sinclair inherited her father’s artistic ability and her grandmother’s love of quilt making.
She combined these talents to create her first miniature rocking horse named “Gram’s Special Pride” which she gave to her grandmother, Mary Carmelle MacMillan, to cheer her up when she was dying of cancer.
MacMillan was delighted with the small stuffed horse. She urged Sinclair to continue making rocking horses and some day buy a real horse.
Shortly after her grandmother died in 1992, Sinclair started taking riding lessons and the sale of her “Collectible Rocking Horse” allowed her to purchase her first horse. She is now the proud owner of three horses.
The soft-sculpture horses are made out of canvas, jute, wood, wire and filled with sheep’s wool, or polyester fibres.
“I use heavy canvas instead of hide of any kind because I don’t like the idea of an animal dying to make a stuffed horse.” she said.
Sinclair used glue when she started making the horses, but she wanted heirloom-quality horses so now she uses glue only on the seam around the ears. The rest of the pieces are either sewn or screwed down.
Sinclair starts by drawing the horse on paper and cutting it in four pieces. She places the paper forms on canvas, cuts out the pieces, sews them together and then stuff them.
She gives meticulous attention to each stage of producing the horses.
“Each strand of jute for the mane and tail is sewed on individually and when I stuff the form, if the chest is too small or the rump is too large, I throw it in the garbage,” she said. “It usually takes me six tries to get my master patterns.”
Each type of horse Sinclair constructs comes from a master pattern she designs. She makes three sizes of rocking horses, a carousel horse, a horse on wheels, and a horse laying down.
“There is no assembly line mentality. We customize everything.”
Each horse is an original and is named, numbered and signed by the artist.