Barbara Haile Chilcoat

Chilcoat Enlarge photo


Durango resident Barbara Haile Chilcoat died Saturday, March 31, 2012, at Sunshine Gardens in Durango. She was 92.

She was born to Grace (Reckord) and Elmer Rathbun Haile Sr. on Feb. 24, 1920, in Cockeysville, Md. She lived most of her life in Towson, Md., before moving to Durango in 2003, where she lived with her daughter Debbie before moving into Sunshine Gardens in 2010.

Mrs. Chilcoat graduated from Towson State Teachers College with a teaching degree. She successfully petitioned the college president to allow female students to wear bobby socks. Mrs. Chilcoat earned her master’s degree from Columbia University in New York City.

In 1949, she married John Miles Chilcoat, a longtime school principal in Baltimore County, in Cockeysville.

While serving as the principal at Bare Hills Elementary School, she requested that the school board replace the outhouses with indoor restrooms. As a married educator in the early 1950s, Mrs. Chilcoat was required to relinquish her job once she became pregnant with her first child. After staying home to raise her children, she taught sixth grade at Rogers Forge Elementary School until her retirement.

The Chilcoats were lifetime members of the Baltimore Campers Association. Mrs. Chilcoat was an active volunteer with the American Red Cross and was a Girl Scout troop leader for many years.

She was active in Towson United Methodist Church, where she founded the Caring and Sharing Program providing visits to shut-ins, which she coordinated for 20 years. Mrs. Chilcoat also was a circle leader, played the chimes, was a member of the Evangelism Committee, the chairwoman, along with her husband, of Couples Plus and a member of United Methodist Women.

“Barbara loved nature, gardening, hiking, camping, traveling and cooking,” her family said. “She cooked vegetables from her backyard garden until she was 90 years old.”

Mrs. Chilcoat was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, John Miles Chilcoat; and an infant son, John Miles Chilcoat Jr.

She is survived by her daughters Rosalie Jean Chilcoat of Durango, Deborah Rosalie Chilcoat of Cortez and Barbara Chilcoat Von Harten of Fort Myers, Fla.; son Douglas Haile Chilcoat of Orlando, Fla.; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held this summer in Maryland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Jessup’s United Methodist Church, c/o Trustees of Jessup’s Church, 600 Warren Road, Cockeysville, MD 21030.