It is with deepest sadness we announce the passing of Barbara Ann (Glendinning) Smith of Bedford, Nova Scotia. Barbara Ann died at home on December 11, 2023 after a significant struggle with Parkinson’s.
Barbara Ann was born on September 29, 1941 in Burin, Newfoundland at a small hospital we later learned was funded through the rum-running escapades of Al Capone. She was the eldest daughter of Ian and Dorothy Glendinning. In her younger years, Barbara Ann lived with her parents and sister Andrea in St. John’s, Fredericton, Edmonton and Sydney. Back in Nova Scotia, the girls attended YMCA camps in the summer and became camp counsellors.
After graduating from Sydney Academy, Barbara Ann went on to the University of King’s College, Halifax where she played field hockey and won the Zaidee Horsfall Prize in Mathematics. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964. She often shared fond memories of summer jobs at Inverary Inn, Cape Breton and the Royal Montreal Golf Club. After King’s, Barbara Ann went on to obtain her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto in 1966.
Barbara Ann made life-long friends during her university days and met her husband Gary at the Hart House swimming pool. Barb was the love of Gary’s life and they were married in 1968 at the Knox College Chapel. They lived for a time in Stoney Creek, Ontario before settling in Burlington where they raised their children Heather and Ian.
Barbara’s career as a Social Worker started with the Children’s Aid Society. After Ian was born, she returned to work at the Caroline Medical Group in Burlington where she was a respected counselling clinician for an astounding 35 years. Anticipating the birth of her grandson, Barbara retired and orchestrated a move to Bedford, Nova Scotia in 2014. Robbie immediately became the apple of Nana’s eye; a source of immense pride and joy.
Our Mom was many things to many people. She was a beloved and devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She was a woman of faith and served as a Sunday School Teacher and Elder at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Hamilton before moving to St. David’s Presbyterian Church in Halifax. She volunteered with the Food Folks (an early bulk food cooperative), Meals on Wheels, Friends of the Public Gardens and David’s Place. As a member of the Burlington Weavers Guild and an adept sewer, Mom handmade many items we continue to treasure. She stayed active into her 70’s and loved hiking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing and skiing with friends and family. She played soccer with Robbie from her wheelchair as soon as COVID restrictions allowed.
Mom was impossible to keep up with in airports and loved her road trips across Canada and the US, and her travels to Norway, Europe and the United Kingdom. She was a life-long learner, an avid reader and always listened to CBC radio. She especially loved the stories of Stuart McLean. She enjoyed talking about politics, as well as social and environmental issues. She was our family historian and archivist, donating Newfoundland Ranger records and other keepsakes to The Rooms in St. John’s and the Hooked Rug Museum in Hubbards among others. She was a consummate hostess and forever reminded us to use the “right” serviettes. It was a comforting joy to smell the wonderful things she cooked or baked on Sundays or holidays. She had an apron for every occasion.
Mom was a trusted confidante, the first to offer help and someone who looked for the good in people. She always had time to listen and look out for others. She forever had a Kleenex when one was needed. She was humble, modest and principled. She had a quiet determination and managed to take challenges, even monumental ones, in stride. “Just hang in there” and “This too will pass” were favourite mottos. She maintained her sense of humor and kept a twinkle in her eye until the end. She was famous for giving THE best hugs. Home was wherever Mom was. She was our anchor.
Latterly, as her condition took hold, she often asked after her parents and wanted to go “home”. We pray she has found that place and wish her the peace she so richly deserves.
Barbara is survived by her husband Richard Gary Smith, her children Heather Ann Smith and Richard Ian Stewart Smith and her adored grandson Richard Robert “Robbie” Douglas Jollimore-Smith. She also leaves behind her sister Andrea (Wayne) Sumsion, two generations of nieces and nephews, dear cousins and honorary daughter Dianne Bell. She will be deeply missed by her family and many wonderful, special friends.
It was important to Mom that others could learn from her condition, and it brings us comfort that a donation could be made to the Maritime Brain Tissue Bank as she requested. Cremation has taken place. We hope to host Celebration of Life events in various locations in the coming months.
Donations in memoriam are welcome to Parkinson Canada or a non-profit organization of your choice.