Dec 26, 2013 6:50 PM by Nathan O'Neal
MARANA - News 4 Tucson is learning new details in the death of a local woman killed in an accident Monday while en route to see her family in California for Christmas.
Barbara Coatsworth is the former wife of Marana Mayor Ed Honea. She was on her way to California with her current husband, Bill Coatsworth, to visit her son Whit, his wife and her grandsons. They were traveling on I-10 about 40 miles west of Phoenix when the unthinkable happened.
"I lost control of the vehicle and it rolled at least twice," Bill Coatsworth told News 4 Tucson.
A portion of the car roof caved in right where Barbara was sitting.
"While I suffered minimal injuries, my wife lost her life," Bill said.
The memory of their last moments together is something that Bill said will continue to resonate.
"I kissed her cheek and I said ‘Honey, I loved you before I met you and I always will...goodbye' and I turned around and told them to get me out of here - I can't do this anymore - and that was my goodbye to my dear sweet Barbara," Bill said with his voice shaking and eyes watering.
Barbara's son, Whit, is a writer who lives in California. He took to his online blog to pay tribute to his mother.
"I want to shake the world like a snow globe and let the storm cover the tire tracks. I want to hold time in my hand. I want to make it stop," Whit wrote.
But time is a fickle thing, as Bill so surely knows.
"She was kindness embodied and the world will miss her. I will miss her, forever," Bill said.
Barbara had recently retired and was looking forward to the next chapter in their life together, which included some traveling plans.
Bill said he may still go on those trips - in honor of his late wife.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, January 4 at the Highlands at Dove Mountain Ballroom at 10:30am.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that gifts in memory of Barbara be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (where she worked for 22 years). Donations can be mailed to: MDA, 3300 E. Sunrise Drive, Tucson, AZ 85718 or online at https://secure.mdausa.org/donate/GiftInMemory.aspx