We Remember

Coughlin Barbara

COUGHLIN, Dr. Barbara Elizabeth

April 1944 — August 14th, 2017

After a valiant battle, Kelowna’s highly respected veterinarian succumbed to ovarian cancer at the Kelowna General Hospital.

Barbara (nee Jenkins) was born in New Westminster and graduated from Delbrook Senior High School in North Vancouver, followed by the school of nursing at Vancouver General Hospital.  Moving to Toronto, Barbara was hired as an OR nurse by the Humber Memorial Hospital and the Scarborough General Hospital.

Looking for even greater challenges, Barbara returned to BC and enrolled at Simon Fraser University where she earned an honours science degree. She was accepted into the Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Saskatchewan, where she graduated in 1976.

Barbara was hired by Dr. “Paddy” Clerke in Kelowna in 1977 and soon purchased his veterinary practice and established the current location of the Kelowna Veterinary Hospital on Kent Road in 1981 which will continue to operate under the professional guidance of her protégé Dr. Ellen Nicklassen.

Barbara’s marriage to Mr. John Allan Wilson in 1982 was followed by many happy years together appreciating the Okanagan Symphony and membership in the Kelowna Yacht Club with two Catalina sailboats named “My Fair Lady” and more recently with “Why Not.”

Barbara was a key volunteer with the Kelowna Yacht Club, faithfully attending each sailing evening and event for 22 years, where she processed the sailing race data and handicaps to determine the winners and the “also rans.”  Some eleven years ago she met James Anderson at the club and, after a long courtship, they were married this past April here in Kelowna.

Barbara was predeceased by her sister Pamela Jenkins in May of this year and is survived by her brother Bob Jenkins (Mary) of West Kelowna and her husband James C. Anderson of Kelowna.

For all who knew her, Barbara has planned an “After Party” to be held in the main lounge at the Kelowna Yacht Club on Thursday, August 31st    from   4 to 8 pm.  All are welcome.  See you there.

Respected by all, and loved by many:   Dr. Barbara Elizabeth Coughlin  1944-2017.

If you wish to leave a message or share a memory for the family please scroll down this page to the area called “share your condolences”.



Service: Thursday, August 31st from 4 to 8 pm

Location: Kelowna Yacht Club

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Service Information

Service Details

The service for COUGHLIN, Dr. Barbara Elizabeth is scheduled for Thursday, August 31st from 4 to 8 pm. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Kelowna Yacht Club

1370 Water Street Kelowna, BC


Special Requests:


Funeral Pointers:



  • I am so very saddened to hear of Barbara’s passing. She started my journey as a pet owner with me in 1991, giving my dear Beau his first vaccinations @ 12 weeks of age and putting him down 16 1/2 years later. During those years she went through the death of 3 other pets with me, calmly and patiently weathering the “hysterics” at times, and always knowing the right thing to do and say. Rest in Peace, Barbara. Your legacy will live on at the Kelowna Vet Hospital as they continue to provide the standard of care that you established. Thank you for everything and “Bruce” sends his Feline regards.

    Condolence sent by: Deborah Harrison on August 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

  • Barbara it’s been over 20 years since we first met., your were so interested in my Pets and People program, then it was becoming a Society. As we talked your boundless enthusiasm and joy with the whole concept showed and always did.
    Thank You for the gift of knowing you, your friendship, sharing your love of animals, your knowledge, by answering John and my endless questions, helping in so many ways. You will be missed by so many people and animals. ‘Walter will miss you, so happy to be seeing you he’d run into the clinic.
    You’ll be quite some time at the Rainbow Bridge for the Lineup will be very very long
    May, James and your family have many happy memories of times with you forever in their hearts.
    Bye now Marjorie Rutherford

    Condolence sent by: Marjorie L. Rutherford on August 17, 2017 at 10:48 am

  • Barb was a well liked and respected member of the Okanagan Veterinary Association. She was always willing to share her expertise, literature or equipment with her colleagues. Many of us remember borrowing Barb’s cast cutter that came with detailed instructions how to use, clean AND return it.

    For a long time meetings of the Okanagan Veterinary Association were either held at Barb’s home in McKinley Landing or her second home; the Kelowna Yacht Club. These meetings helped bring the veterinary community together and stimulated good relations between the clinics. Being the nestor of the group Barb’s opinion was often sought and always appreciated. She had a quirky sense of humor; she once, true to her profession, came to the Association’s Christmas party sporting earrings in the shape of cat testicles..
    Barb had a great love for all the animals in her care and was an excellent clinician. She did a lot of pro-deo work expecting nothing in return. Helping the pets and seeing them get better was all the reward she needed.

    On behalf of the Okanagan Veterinary Association I would like to offer condolences to James, Bob, family and Dr. Nicklassen with the loss of a partner, sister, family member, mentor and colleague. We remember her as a strong woman with an infectious sense of humor as well as a great colleague and veterinarian.

    Dr. Marco Veenis

    Okanagan Veterinary Association

    Condolence sent by: Dr. Marco Veenis on August 17, 2017 at 2:09 pm

  • To James, Bob and all the family, my sincere condolences. Barb and I are nursing school classmates and friends. We shared a formatative time in our lives and Barb continued to join us in most all of our reunions where we cherish the bonds of friendships and many laughs sharing our lives over the years. Barb made life interesting for us. we are going to miss you Barb and wish you a pleasant journey to where ever you are now headed. The stars shine bright

    Condolence sent by: Judy evans on August 18, 2017 at 6:41 am

  • As a veterinary colleague I met Barbara over 25 years ago while attending many veterinary conferences. Therefore when I moved to Kelowna from Ontario in 1995 with my family and our beloved cats, and no longer practicing veterinary medicine I knew that the Kelowna Veterinary Hospital was the place to go. Barbara was always available for consult, advice and veterinary care for our Siamese clan over the years. I will miss the times we had to share our many “James Harriet” type veterinary stories. The staff at the Kelowna Veterinary Hospital embody the caring philosophy that Barbara established and I will continue to be a loyal client. My regards to all.

    Condolence sent by: Dr. Rick Czuba on August 18, 2017 at 7:44 am

  • So sorry to hear of Barb’s passing. Kelowna will certainly miss her presence and knowledge. She was my vet for 30 years and came to my house to put many cats and dogs to sleep over the years. She was so kind, compassionate always knowing the right thing to say. There was know one more devoted to the welfare of your animal and Heaven just welcomed one of our best. What a party on that Rainbow Bridge, rest in peace Barb we’ll all miss you.

    Condolence sent by: Darlene Campbell on August 18, 2017 at 10:19 am

  • I am so so sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. Coughlin, Having worked at the Kelowna Yacht Club for 10 years, and seeing her at every Sail race, she never missed them! I became so fond of her, She was a wonderful women with a huge caring heart. I remember when her and James started dating, I was so happy for them both, A perfect pair of two wonderful souls. After my days at the Yacht club, i still continued to see Dr. Barbra, as she took care of my Fur babies, and was there for me when i old girl went over the rainbow bridge. Not sure who could ever replace you for my new babies. May your spirit soar high and you have all those animals surrounding you up there on a sail boat. Rest in Peace.

    Condolence sent by: Jamie Powers on August 18, 2017 at 2:33 pm

  • Our condolences to James and family members. I was a nursing classmate and friend of Barbara,and enjoyed many reunions with her, as well as other visits to Kelowna. John and I enjoyed cups of tea,at “her” table,with her own teapot, at the yacht club. I will miss the jokes she sent by e-mail! I am sorry to have to miss her party, but will raise a glass in her memory—- we will miss her

    Condolence sent by: John and Lorna Hoare on August 18, 2017 at 5:53 pm

  • I met Barbara in January when my 17 year old Bengal cat had health issues. Barbara was there every step of the way and let me know when it was time to put my beautiful cat down. Barbara was excellent! She was very patient and so good with my cat. I then rehomed two new Bengal cats and she was so gentle with them. I am going to miss her very much. I’m so sorry she has passed, she certainly was a special lady that has touched our hearts. My condolences to her family. xx

    Condolence sent by: Lorraine Stang on August 18, 2017 at 8:41 pm

  • Sincere condlences on Barb’s passing. We were classmates in nursing school and shared a room together twice at reunions. She was kind, thoughtful and had a quirky sense of humour which I enjoyed! I will miss her.

    Condolence sent by: Elizabeth (Liz) Wilson. Nee Tite on August 18, 2017 at 8:55 pm

  • This is such tough news. Barb and I were VGH nursing classmates (Feb 66) but lost contact until early in 2016 via our newsletter. She encouraged me to try laser therapy following my acute rotator cuff tear. She had discovered this while attending a CVMA meeting, and her own therapy had allowed her to return to sailing. My husband, Barrie, is a busy equine veterinary surgeon; I am his scrub nurse for all his cervical implant surgeries, so wanted to avoid a protracted recovery. I had my treatments at a local San Diego Equine Veterinary hospital by colleagues of my husband and certainly benefitted as well.

    We followed Barb’s blog as she fought her battle with cancer. Her strength and determination were inspirational – even more so when I was suddenly diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lung this Spring.

    What a terrible loss this is for her family and friends and her veterinary and nursing communities — and her own little patients. Our hearts go out to all!

    Vaughan & Barrie Grant

    Condolence sent by: Vaughan Grant (nee Rutherford) on August 19, 2017 at 9:41 am

  • My condolences to James & Barb’s Family. Barbara & I were Nursing Classmates @ Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing. She was one of my “hallmates” & provided us with many laughs. Thanks Barb for teaching me to play Bridge, actually it was one of her “demands” that some of us learn so she would be able to have a game or two. Barb was a good friend to all. We all cherish the friendships we have formed over the years that started with our residence life & continued through all our reunions. I will miss our conversations & shared laughter. RIP Barb as you continue on your journey.

    Condolence sent by: Gail Murphy on August 19, 2017 at 10:23 am

  • So sorry to hear of the passing of Dr Coughlin. She was the vet for all of my many cats that were my pets over the last 25 years. Others have already expressed very eloquently what a wonderful compassionate caring vet she was. I want to second those thoughts and say how badly I and my cats will miss her. Rest in Peace.

    Condolence sent by: Maria Tokarchuk on August 20, 2017 at 12:52 pm

  • “Profound Sadness”
    Upon hearing the news of Dr Coughlin’s passing. She will be sorrowfully missed.
    I once asked her recently when she was going to retire. Retire she said ?
    Never, I love my work! We knew she was not well, but never once heard her complain.
    She saved our Princess Katie from an early death.
    Thank you so much.
    David and Sherry and Princess Katie Litke

    Condolence sent by: David and Sherry Litke on August 23, 2017 at 10:09 am

  • I was very saddened to hear of our loss of a true friend to both the human and animal world. Barb was a caring vet who could convey to owners animal phycology to give understanding and wisdom. I worked PT for her in her busy clinic in the 80’s and early 90’s and learned much from her, as an A.H.T. She will be missed greatly by all who knew her. RIP Barb as you helped so many. Thank you for the privilege of knowing you.

    Condolence sent by: Donna Smith on August 26, 2017 at 6:42 am

  • I am so saddened by the passing of Barbara….. I was lucky enough to have met her back in March of this year…. I felt so welcome and was instantly put at ease with her knowledge of my dogs illness….Barbara was a very loving and comforting….. I truly will miss seeing her……..Just know that Barbara has left her business in very loving and caring hands…. I am greatful for that….RIP our ‘fur babies’ angel…..

    Condolence sent by: Theresa Bertucci on August 28, 2017 at 5:42 pm

  • Barbara was such an excellent vet even to the point of giving free advice when I ran into her shopping one time. She cared for my 2 dogs, 1 cat and my budgie for many years. This is so hard to understand and I wish the best for her family as they go through this time.

    Condolence sent by: Trudy Szqlkies on August 29, 2017 at 12:36 pm

  • I am saddened to hear of Barb’s passing, so pleased she made the trip to our 40th DVM reunion last fall. I am fortunate to have spent a bit of time catching up on some of her activities. Barb you will be missed. Harold Fast

    Condolence sent by: Dr. Harold Fast on August 31, 2017 at 12:08 pm

  • I was greatly saddened to hear of the the passing of Dr. Coughlin, she was an amazing person who went above and beyond in her care of animals. I met her when I along with a group of ladies formed a new rescue group called AlleyCATS Alliance. Her clinic staff and protege Dr. Ellen Nicklassen were always so kind and helpful. She will truly be missed by both her two and four legged clients! She was an angel on earth and now is an angel in heaven, of that I have no doubt. Condolences to all of her family,colleagues and friends.

    Condolence sent by: Theresa Nolet on August 31, 2017 at 12:59 pm

  • I phoned the clinic today to make an appointment for our pet’s annual exam and was given sad news. We met Barbara in 1979 at her old practice by the back of the rec centre. She was just starting out. We’ve had the pleasure of calling her our pet’s vet since that time. For almost 40 years she’s been our rock, when our pets were at end of life and our advisor when they were well. She always made time for them and us. Work aside, we also shared travel stories and I’m glad she got to some of her dream places. We also shared the fact we both had a child far away in Australia. She was an amazing woman with such a wide range of interests that one had to marvel that she had time to continue to broaden her horizons, but she did. I will miss hearing her correctly answering the CBC trivia questions, in the mornings and we all know she never googled them beforehand, she knew her stuff. We will miss her presence and my animals will miss her gentleness and no nonsense approach to making their lives better. We are shedding a tear tonight.

    Condolence sent by: julie and steve christopher on September 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm

  • I am sorry to hear of Dr. Coughlin’s passing. She hired me as a young girl to be the kennel girl for her hospital where I worked every Saturday and Sunday for 3 years till I left to go to tech school. I ran into her at the Las Vegas veterinary conference last year where I was working as a rep for an animal health company. We had a nice conversation and exchanged a hug. She was instrumental in my career she will be missed. My condolences to her family

    Condolence sent by: Tracy on November 8, 2017 at 5:58 pm

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