Barbara Lacy was a caring and generous woman with a uniquely positive and loving approach to life. She had the ability to see beauty everywhere, and in everyone. On March 29, 2023, Barbara died peacefully in her own home, surrounded by her loving daughters.
Born in Evanston, Illinois, to Hazel and Lester Britton, Barbara grew up as the middle child between big sister Georgia and younger brother Bill. Barbara developed a love of dance at an early age, and it enriched her life in many forms throughout her long life. While performing in a college musical, she met and fell in love with her future husband, Chet Lacy. Soon after, Barbara toured and performed with the Harriette Ann Gray professional dance company, then taught ballroom dance with her husband at the first Fred Astaire studio in Nebraska. A picture of her dancing with Mr. Astaire was a fond part of her photo wall.
Chet and Barbara eventually migrated to Seattle, where they settled down and raised a family. In addition to nurturing daughters, Barbara found a multitude of ways to immerse herself in the world of dance. She performed with Martha Nishitani’s dance group, taught creative dance in a variety of venues, and choreographed musicals for local high schools and community colleges. Together with a small group of pioneering women, Barbara founded the modern dance company Dance Theatre Seattle on Capitol Hill, which became home to the Bill Evans Dance Company. Barbara also traveled as a movement educator for the Artists in Schools residency program, inspiring teachers and students alike in public schools across the country and abroad.
After Barbara’s marriage ended, dance brought her to the second great love of her life, Skip Edmundson. The two shared a passion for folk dance, enjoying many hours learning and performing with the Sno-King International Folk Dance Club. Barbara and Skip traveled to Greece several times for folk dance workshops, learning the language and making lifelong friends.
Barbara also became an English as a Second Language teacher, and often her students became friends. Handwritten letters from across the globe would arrive and she would light up like a child on Christmas morning, excited to hear their news and write back in return. She also wrote to people whose books or performances sparked something in her. With Barbara, these connections were treasures beyond measure.
Spending time with her grandchildren brought Barbara immense joy. The costumes, props, and musical instruments would come out, and parents would often be treated to a creative performance when they came to retrieve their children. She also loved hosting swim parties, always stocking ice cream and Oreo cookies for a special treat.
Barbara was a tireless advocate for the health of her beloved Echo Lake, where she lived for over sixty years, and which provided countless hours of delight for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Serving on the board of the Echo Lake Neighborhood Association, Barbara was thrilled when the parks department succeeded in the complete renovation of Echo Lake Park, providing a safe and attractive place for families to play and swim. One of her proudest moments was when the mayor of Shoreline proclaimed the stone turtle in the park “Barbara Jeanne” in recognition of Barbara’s and fellow board member Jeanne Monger’s stewardship.
Barbara joins many loved ones who preceded her in death, including Skip, Barbara’s sister Georgia, and her brother Bill. Carrying on her legacy of love here on earth are her daughters Kim Frerichs (Brent), Juli Williams (Joel), and Kristin Manning (Rick Cummins), as well as 7 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, Barbara would greatly appreciate donations to the Creative Dance Center (creativedance.org).