Coronado lost a very special friend last month. Barbara Haines died just a week before her 91st birthday on June 10. She was the oldest surviving member of a Coronado family that spans six generations. Her life was filled with love and giving.
Barb was brought into this world by Captain Stewart Reynolds and Jane Keck Reynolds as the oldest of three children. Her brother Nick Reynolds was founding member of the Kingston Trio, one of this country’s greatest musical groups. Her sister, Jane Meade, lives in the historic Wizard of Oz House on Star Park.
Barb was born at Mercy Hospital and grew up in Coronado. She and her siblings attended the Hotel Del Beach School as young children. Later, they moved to 532 Marina Avenue, and then, in 1932, took up temporary residence in Alpine for health reasons, where they stayed until the end of World War II, and their men returned.
Upon returning to Coronado, Barb attended Francis Parker School and then the Bishops School in La Jolla, graduating in 1946. Barb attended Mercy Hospital’s Nursing School from 1947-1949. Then, in 1950, as a belated graduation gift to Barb and Jane, their mother took them on a cruise to Europe aboard the Queen Mary.
“We were in First-Class,” remembered sister Jane Meade, “but we had more fun down in steerage with the Third-Class passengers and Barb and I would constantly sneak down there when mother wasn’t looking.”
Adventure seemed to be a constant on her mother’s side of the family. The famous Keck poker game at the Hotel Del is an example of that. Barb’s grandparents had traveled annually by train, from East Hampton, New York to Coronado, since they honeymooned at the Hotel Del in 1894. On one of their annual pilgrimages, in 1917, Keck was in a midnight poker game at the Del. As the game drew to a close, one of the players wanted to cover his bet with a property deed for a little home at 965 Alameda (then known as “K Avenue”) valued at $5,000. Keck won the hand and the family of eight took up permanent residence in Coronado.
Their own daughter, who was Barb’s mother and known around Coronado for decades simply as, “Granny,” was close friends with Ernest Hemingway, Bing Crosby and Jackie Bouvier Kennedy, among others. And so goes the legacy of the Keck Family.
Indeed, the Keck-Reynolds offspring seemed to walk hand-in-hand with adventure. Before she married and had children, Barb traveled on train trips through Spain, meeting famous matadors along the way. She moved to San Francisco for two years with childhood friend Phyllis Kraus, where the two beautiful young women worked in nursing while exploring sports, arts & culture, and the excitement found in the Bay Area.
She was a tennis champion, scouted by former Wimbledon winner and Davis Cup champion, Les Stoefen (he was one of the top players in the world in the 1930s). She played in thousands of tennis matches and tournaments, but found her greatest tennis joy in playing (and winning) in the father-daughter and women’s doubles divisions with her father and sister. She was a regular sight on the Hotel del Coronado’s stadium court, where guests would gather to watch her play.
Music was also a major factor in young Barbara Reynolds’ life. “Daddy would always make us sing and play instruments,” recalled Barb’s sister Jane Meade. “Even though our brother Nicky was the only one of us to achieve any success with a musical career, we all sang daily at the breakfast table – usually the song ‘Seeing Nellie Home,’ (an old Civil War song) and we would harmonize our way through one verse, then laugh our way through the next.”
In fact, Nick Reynolds was oft-heard to say his sisters were better at harmony than he was, and history tells us there were none better at harmony than Nick Reynolds and the Kingston Trio.
Barb met the love of her life, the handsome and dashing Robert “Baines” Haines in 1952. He was a successful sailboat racer and went on to become the captain of numerous scientific research vessels for Scripps Institute of Oceanography. They married in 1953.
Barb and Baines had four children, the oldest is Robbie Haines, who went on to win the Olympic Gold Medal in sailing (1984), and now runs the sailing campaigns for Roy Disney, grandnephew of Walt Disney. Oldest daughter, Pam, now resides with her family in Costa Mesa. Caroline is a successful realtor in Coronado, and Bunnie lives in Borrego Springs, making frequent trips back to Coronado. The family remains extremely close.
After the kids were in school, Barb entered the travel business, while sneaking off to Las Vegas with her mother and sister to gamble and play blackjack as often as possible. She was attracted to the cruise industry and the travel business, and she loved to help seniors -- most of her clientele. She created the Coronado Fun Club. She ran the social programs at the Hotel Del and the then-newly built Coronado Shores, where she was the first Coronado Shores social director (1971-1976).
Barb had thousands of friends and impacted most of their lives. She was devoted to her family, and had a great relationship with her own mother and father. Inquisitive, loving, adventurous and devoted to family. This is Barb Haines’ legacy, and it lives on successfully with each of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. There is no shortage of role models in this family.
Barbara Haines is pre-deceased by her husband Robert “Baines” Haines and brother Nick (Leslie) Reynolds. She is survived by her sister Jane (Pike) Meade of Coronado; survived by her son Robbie (Amy) Haines, their two children Brian and Molly, and four grandchildren; daughter Pam (Jamie) Hardenbergh, and their two children Clark and Caroline; daughter Caroline and her daughter Ryann; and daughter Bunnie (Jack) Hamilton.
Services will be private. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made “In Memory of Barbara Haines,” to the Coronado Senior Center, 1019 Seventh Street, Coronado, CA 92118.