|Barb was born in Prince George on February 4, 1963 and passed away suddenly at Victoria General Hospital on September 22, 2018, with family by her side. She was pre-deceased by her mother, Elsie on October 27, 2016. She is survived by her father Gene, sisters Donna (Brian Kent), and Cindy (Robin Lehman), niece Charlie (Marc), and nephews, Jon (Kaley), Ryan, and Quinn, and by her great-nephew Jonny. She will be deeply missed by her two best friends, Gord Atkins and Alison Phosy, as well as by countless friends and extended family.
Barb’s family moved to Victoria when she was six-months-old and after several moves her family settled in Langford where she cultivated her life-long love of Elvis Presley music. Barb attended Langford Elementary (now Ruth King Elementary). She was part of the first group of students to attend all three years at Spencer Middle School, where she excelled as a student and served on student council, including one year as school prime minister. She went on to attend Belmont Secondary, winning the award for top business student when graduating in 1981.
Barb started babysitting at a young age and was always able to easily wrangle the unruliest of children. She remained life-long friends with many of her charges. During her mid-teens she worked at Shopper’s Drug Mart at Gorge and Tillicum. Immediately upon graduation, she began her career working for the provincial government, beginning as a clerk in Registries and finishing as a team supervisor in the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles 26 years later.
Barb’s career came to a sudden halt in July of 2007 when she suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage caused by a ruptured brain aneurysm. After three months in Neurological ICU at Vancouver General, followed by another year split between Victoria General and Aberdeen Hospitals, she returned home shortly before Christmas in 2008. Although no longer able to work or drive, Barb was able to live independently, developing her own systems to compensate for her compromised memory and her constant dizziness. She grudgingly learned how to ask for and accept help from others, something that did not come easily to her as she had always been the one to do the helping.
Because she no longer drove, and in order to fill her time, relieve stress, and to continue and maintain the almost one-hundred-pound weight loss she had achieved before her aneurysm, Barb began walking, and walking, and walking, covering many kilometres each day, and making new friends wherever she went. Once you became friends with Barb, you were friends for life. Even with her brain injury she remained extremely organized, and she never missed a birthday. Barb was a team-player and fair to a fault, going above and beyond in whatever she did. People were always welcomed into her home, any time of the day or night. Because she detested waste, she was extremely frugal, but she was also exceedingly generous, sharing whatever she had with anyone who asked, even complete strangers (although nobody remained a stranger to her for long). A gardener for many years, and an absolutely amazing cook, she shared her bounty as generously as she shared her incredible smile.
In lieu of flowers, Barb’s family asks that you do as Barb often did and perform an act of kindness for someone in need. A celebration of life will be held in mid-November. If you wish to be notified of the time and location, please leave your contact info at firstname.lastname@example.org.