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Barbara Pritchard HARRIS TATE

August 24, 1934 - April 4, 2014

HARRIS, Dr Barbara Pritchard (nee Tate). August 24, 1934 to April 4, 2014.  Wife of Gordon Edward Harris. Daughter of Colonel Edward and Jessie Tate. Step-Mom to Joan (Don), Veronica (Gary), and Barbara (Ray). Grandma to Gregory, Timothy, Kathryn, Graham, Heather, Nicole, Denise, Judith, Aidan, Stephen; and G.G. to the great -grand children.

Ba saw herself as the matriarch of the family. She was proud of her father’s position as colonel and director of military intelligence. Perhaps this is why she worked in the intelligence section of the RCMP. She was also close to her mother sharing a mutual love of music and singing.  She married  Gordie on Dec 7, 1966, and she and Gordie enjoyed entertaining and fine food. She supported her step-daughters as best she could and was proud of her grandchildren. She embraced the nick-name G.G. for great-grandmother as once Jessie had been called.

Ba was a lover of words. This was expressed through her English and French high school teaching. This interest in language fuelled her study of linguistics, earning an MA and PhD from UVic and being an Associate Professor there, with interests in Chinook jargon and Canadian English. She enjoyed immensely being a lexicographer for theGage Canadian Dictionary.  She shared her love of linguistics with many students at UVic as both a teacher and graduate supervisor.  Her enthusiasm for a good detective story meant that she even taught a third year grammar course as a detective story. She was devoted to crosswords, including those difficult cryptic ones!

Ba believed in volunteering. She belonged and actively participated in the Victoria chapter of the IODE, a volunteer organization “dedicated to a better Canada.”After her liver transplant in 1991, Ba volunteered with the Transplant Society.  In honour of her father, she regularly laid wreaths at Remembrance Day ceremonies. When she retired, she also participated in the UVic speaker series.  Ba believed in giving back to the institutions which had supported her.

The years following her liver transplant were dotted with many health challenges, but as a friend commented, “she never complained.” Instead she would turn to her favorite hobby, reading.  The last five years were unfortunately marked by ill health, especially the effects of dementia. For an academic and lover of words, this was particularly sad. However, she continued to collect owls and to have a smile on her face. Ba died peacefully on April 4, 2014. She will be missed greatly by family and friends.