Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
Barbara Kales Memorial
Barbara Kales Memorial

Barbara Kales

Barbara Kales

Saturday, August 14th, 2021

Barbara Ann Kales, loving wife, mother and Nan, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on August 14, 2021.  Barbara was born January 20, 1942 to Theodore and Nora Mathis in Sylva, North Carolina, their sixth of nine lively children.  The Mathis family moved to Washington and the beautiful Skagit Valley in Barbara’s seventh year and it was there at Concrete Elementary where she met little Bucky (Les) Kales and as they say, “the rest is history”.

Barbara graduated from Concrete High School with the class of 1960 and married Bucky the following year.  They recently celebrated 60 years together.  In 1963, their daughter, Kimberly was born followed by their son, Brian in 1966.  Barbara’s favorite job was being their mother and later grandmother to Kristen, Brandon, Nicholas, Tyler, and Tyson and great grandmother to Myles, Makena, Carson, Owen, Paislee and Olivia.  She had pet names for each of them, snuggled and rocked them while singing the Star-Spangled Banner, and without a doubt made the best “Nan’s Deli” sandwiches.  Barbara’s lasting legacy is her deep and abiding love for her family.

Barb was a competitor and enjoyed playing softball, golf and bowling for many years with dear friends and family.  Many summers were spent camping at the lake, traveling to cheer for her kids and grandkids at their ballgames and tending her flowers and garden.  Home and family were the most important to Barbara and everyone knew it.

Barb became a bus driver for the Concrete School District and faithfully transported kids for 25 years, learning each of their names and providing them with much more than a ride to school.  Barb was a loud and proud Husky fan and attended many many home and away games for the Concrete Lions, supporting the students at C.H.S.

Family preceding Barbara in death include her parents, Ted and Nora; siblings, Susie, Alvin, JT, Clifton and Raymond Mathis; her in-laws, Art and Ella Kales.  Missing her greatly is her husband, Buck at the family home; daughter Kim (Brian); son, Brian (Judy); grandchildren, Kristen (Jon), Brandon, Tyler, Nicholas (Morgan), Tyson (Christine), Aaron (Liz) and Chaquayla; brother, Kit Mathis; sisters, Ella Jean Mathis and Yvonne Bennet as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and lifelong friends.

To honor Barb and her love for kids and her community as well as her favorite teams, her family invites you to wear your favorite purple and gold gear, share memories of Barb that demonstrate her witty and caring spirit and join us in celebrating a life well lived.  In lieu of flowers, Barb’s family also asks if you’re so inclined to send donations for a scholarship in her memory for the students of Concrete High School, Savi Bank, PO Box 2017, Concrete, WA  98237 In memory of Barbara Kales.

A Graveside Inurnment will be held at 9:30, Thursday, August 19, 2021 at Forest Park Cemetery, Concrete, Pastor Ron Deegan presiding.  Following the graveside service, please join us for a few of Barb’s favorite things-coffee and goodies at Rasar State Park, day use area.  Bring stories and jokes to tell because we all know she made us laugh every day.  Due to COVID-19 concerns, mask and social distancing recommendations will be followed. Share your memories of Barb and sign the online guest register.


  • Merlene Buller

    Barb was so special in our family’s lives it’s hard to find words. All my love and condolences to her family. May you be warmly wrapped in your good memories. She is so fondly remembered.

  • Patty Iund

    Kales & Mathis Families, my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
    I had the pleasure of being Barbs friend through school, bowling & softball. I know my family in Heaven is enjoying having God’s newest Angel over for coffee.

  • Laura Fead

    Barb Kales was truly one in a million and will be greatly missed! I have so many memories of her driving us kids to all of our games and watching us do some silly dance or being goofy and declare “those darn kids!” She was a true fan of the Concrete Lions and she supported all her “kids!” She had such a huge heart and a great sense of humor. You could always count on Barb for a quick comeback and some great laughs. How she drove bus all those years I will never understand, but I will definitely never forget! 🥰 Prayers to Buck, Kim, and Brian and the whole family!

  • Nathan Salseina

    Barb was my bus driver from kindergarten through about 6th grade on the Birdsview route. I think she was a driver for my mom as well when she was in school. I always felt safe with her on the bus, and knew she would get me home. I’m sorry that I hadn’t seen her for many years and I didn’t know she was ill. Condolences to her family, she was a very special person in my life.

  • Reva Johnson

    Barb was one of a kind.I wish I-had spent more time with her.She showed me her green house and all the things she andBuck has built.I was so impressed with her energy for doing so much gardening.It is so good to have had such an honest sweet person in my life.You will be missed,Barb

  • Becki snd Les Hoover

    Barb was a hard worker, strong in mind , spirit and physical ability. She always gave her all at everything she did. She loved her family and all those kids who became hers after riding her bus for years. She stood up for what she believed in even if it wasn’t popular. She passed on many life lessons to those who knew her and quick to give advise as well as a Pat on the back. I will miss her and her friendship, her one line zingers and her quick wit. A life well lived. Prayers to Buck, Kim and Brian and the rest of her family ❤️

  • Della

    Barb cared about all the kids on her bus. She was invested in each one and they all knew it and loved her.

  • Janis D. Schweitzer

    What can I say about Barb Kales? She was a character that embodied the spirit of “play to win” and I feel so privileged that she thought of me as a friend. She inspired me to always try to do what is right despite what others may do or say. I’ll tend my garden and flowers with you in mind, Barb, and think of you and all you gave me.