Barbara Kaski McLane

Barbara Kaski McLane, passed away on Saturday, July 8, 2023

Barbara Kaski McLane - 

Barbara Kaski McLane, a strong, kind, and independent woman, who was a thoughtful, dependable, and fun-loving friend to all, passed away at the age of 76 on Saturday, July 8, 2023 at Birchwood Cottages in North Mankato, MN.


Born on February 13, 1947 in New London, Connecticut, Barbara was the daughter of Carl and Charlotte (Fraser) Kaski.  She was raised in St. Helena, California, graduating from St. Helena High School in 1965.  She continued her education at Santa Rosa Junior College, and San Francisco City College, where she graduated from the Licensed Vocational Nursing Program.  She loved being a nurse, and worked at San Francisco Children’s Hospital, Kaiser Permanente Clinic, Tuolemne General Hospital, and Peace Health Home Care and Hospice.


While living in Sonora, California, she met Ardell McLane.  They married on May 19, 1984.  Barbara and Ardell shared an enthusiasm for the outdoors.  They also shared a dream of moving to the Oregon Coast.  They were thrilled when they purchased their cozy house in 1988 with its own dock, on the Siuslaw River in Mapleton, Oregon.  They bought a fishing boat and enjoyed catching salmon in the Pacific Ocean, as well as crabbing and digging for clams. Ardell died on June 28, 1999.  In 2014 Barbara sold her home in Mapleton and moved to Florence, Oregon.  She was active in the Mapleton and Florence communities, serving on the Mapleton Water Board and the Florence Habitat for Humanity Board.  She enjoyed her daily water exercise class and taking her yellow lab Sophie for swims in the river and in area lakes.  Barbara treasured her group of close women friends, (“The Ravens”).  Barbara was a member of the Florence Unitarian Universalists Fellowship where she found friendship, support, and a spiritual home.


Barbara was both curious and adventurous.  She and her sister Mary explored Minnesota’s Boundary Waters.  In Mexico, to commemorate Barbara’s 60th birthday, they swam with dolphins!  She traveled to Melbourne Australia for her nephew’s wedding.  She visited Ireland when her nephew John studied abroad in Galway.  Always the devoted and generous aunt, she made many trips to Minnesota for her niece’s and nephew’s, performances, birthdays, graduations, and holiday celebrations.


Barbara was a lover of dogs.  Her companions, Rowdy, Cleo, Heidi and Sophie brought her much joy. 


In 2021, Barbara moved to Mankato, Minnesota to be close to family as she experienced declining health. Mankato was her adopted home until her passing.


Barbara is preceded in death by her mother, father and brother, Charlotte, Carl and James Kaski, as well as her husband, Ardell McLane. She leaves behind her loving sister and brother-in-law, Mary Kaski O’Sullivan and Malcolm O’Sullivan, nephew and niece, and their spouses, John O’Sullivan, Catherine Kemp, Katherine O’Sullivan Kolbow, and Samuel Kolbow, and great nephew and nieces, Finnian O’Sullivan, Frances O’Sullivan, and Margaret Kolbow.


Barbara touched many lives.  Her quick wit will be missed by all who knew her. Barbara taught us how to be brave, and to forge ahead in the midst of adversity.  She taught us to be grateful.


The family would like to express appreciation for the tender care provided her by the staff at Old Main Village, and most recently by the caregivers at Birchwood Cottages.


A memorial service and celebration of Barbara’s life will be held on Saturday, September 16 at 10:30 am at the Florence Unitarian Universalists Fellowship in Florence, Oregon.


In lieu of flowers, memorials in Barbara’s name, are preferred to VINE Faith in Action, 421 East Hickory Street, Mankato, MN 56001.