March 27, 1933 – April 28, 2019
Born in the depths of the Depression to Stewart and Jessie, Barbara was raised in Robin Hood, Saskatchewan where her father ran the general store. The family later moved to Creston BC, where she graduated in the class of 1951.
Barbara first visited Victoria to attend Normal School (teacher training); she then taught at several schools around Creston and Castlegar. A visit to Alberta led to marriage, a son, and almost a decade in Strathmore. When that ended she returned to her beloved Victoria where she taught in the Greater Victoria school system for 20 years. Working at Margaret Jenkins, George Jay, and Craigflower, she mostly taught Special Needs children — a difficult task she embraced with joy.
Always a red-headed sparkplug of energy and opinions, she ran 10K races, volunteered, hiked, and jumped into hobbies that were for her as much about the friends involved as the activities themselves.
A staunch Scot and an even prouder Canadian, she always identified with the humble, the peaceful, and the marginalized. People were more valuable to her than things. Barb’s one indulgence was travel. Her avid desire to see the world and meet its people began in the summer of 1956 at age 23, when she and a girlfriend took a freighter across the Atlantic and hitchhiked around Europe. In the years since she filled several passports with visits to every corner of the globe: from Iceland and Scotland to Fiji and Zanzibar; from the Amazon, New Guinea, and the Middle East to Nunavut, Newfoundland, and Japan. She made several visits to Africa to see the continent and meet the children she was sponsoring through Plan International Canada.
She spent her final years cared for by the wonderful people at the Cridge Centre for the Family and the Mt. Tolmie Hospital.
She is survived by her son Joseph Stewart. She was predeceased by brothers Jim and Hugh, and survived by sisters Mary and Donna and numerous nieces and nephews for whom she was beloved Auntie Barb. Through her many circles of friends and the multitude of children she taught she left an impression on countless lives. She will be missed by all.
A Celebration of Barb will be held at 2 pm Sunday May 26th at First Memorial, 4725 Falaise Dr.
She loved an occasional wee glass of wine or a dram of Scotch; if you are so inclined, raise a glass in her honour. In lieu of flowers donate to Plan International, the Cridge Centre, or the Eldercare Foundation.
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