Bobbie (Barbara) McIntosh of Black Mountain NC died on Thursday, April 4 after a life well-lived. She was a teacher, artist, and renowned needlepoint designer who shared her gifts with family, friends, kindergarteners and school children, needlepoint artisans, disabled adults, and scores of others.
She was born in York County, PA, to Robert Drake and Anne Holtzapple Drake. She married Joe McIntosh and followed him in his career to Florida then North Carolina, which became her home. Two daughters, Drew and Shawn, were the beneficiaries of that vocation for teaching and art, from hand-sewed matching clothes to crafts to school lessons at home. Bobbie’s passion for grammar and reading led both daughters to become writers as adults.
As the children got older, the family fell in love with sailing for sport and spent weekends at inland lakes and coastal cities, where Bobbie and Joe raced a Windmill, a 16-foot performance sailboat that Joe built. Parents and kids camped out with other sailing families, including a three-family crew dubbed “The McTaythrops,” because all were as close as kin and traveled with a shared babysitter (lifesaving badge required.) Drew and Shawn both learned to love sailing, starting out in an Optimist Pram that Joe built and Bobbie hand painted with flowers to match the name, the Lazy Daisy.
Over the years, sailing took the family to the coastal NC town of Oriental, which all came to love. Bobbie relocated there after she and Joe divorced and it was as though she had lived there all her life. She played essential roles in the town holiday celebration, the Spirit of Christmas, and performed in puppet shows for the community theater, often in the role of Hound Dog in full costume. She was an active member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, where she designed needlepoint covers for the kneelers after a church renovation. She worked on the Board of Elections and taught at Pamlico County Community College in the compensatory education program.
Once Drew and her husband Darrel had children, Bobbie became a huge part of the life of her beloved grandsons, Dane and Jan. As they grew, she split time between their home in Texas and Oriental, eventually buying her own home in Texas so she could watch them grow. She brought her love of teaching and art to the Destination Imagination program in their school.
In 2009, Bobbie suffered a bout with mental health issues that meant she could no longer live alone, so she joined Drew and her family in Black Mountain, N.C., where they had relocated, just up the road from Shawn in Atlanta.
Bobbie was initially disappointed to lose her independence and leave her beloved Oriental. But as her health improved, she re-built a life of purpose and became a valued citizen at McCune Center, where she was happy to play cards or games with anyone and sell brooms at the Post Office on Mondays or register voters as part of the Lions’ Club based at McCune. She joined St. James Episcopal Church and helped with serving dinner at Celebrate Recovery at Mountain View Church.
Though small in stature, Bobbie had a big personality and a huge love of life. If she met you once, she would never forget you and chances are, you would find her memorable. If you never met her, you really missed someone special.
Her family will miss her too, but they know that she is with God.
Bobbie is survived by her daughters, Drew Jorgensen (and husband Darrel) of Black Mountain and Shawn McIntosh of Atlanta; grandsons Dane Jorgensen (and wife Leah) of Jacksonville, NC and Jan Jorgensen (and fiancée Jaemin Wilson) of Tucson, AZ; a sister, Marylou Perlini of Thousand Palms CA; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome at McCune Lions’ Club, 101 Lion’s Way, Black Mountain, NC, 28711