Barbara Pauline ROWLEY
Barbara Pauline Rowley, 79, Edmonton, Alberta passed away on March 11, 2022 after a short illness.
Barbara was born on July 4th, 1942 in Dartford, Kent England to Mildred and Mark McHugh. The eldest of three children, Mary and Paul McHugh. Life was adventurous. When Barbara was 11 years of age she received a scholarship to St. Joseph’s Convent Grammar School. She was very clever and loved her studies as well as her friends. They moved from Dartford to Tottenham. At the age of 15 fate took a hand and she met a lady at the bus stop in the pouring rain. Barb told her that she was looking for a job to help support her family. The lady had a husband who worked for Standard Telephones. This started her career in London as a shorthand typist. She used to go dancing at lunchtime at the Lyceum Ballroom, located in The Strand, central London. Barb has always loved to dance.
Barb met her husband Leonard at an engagement party, it was not love at first sight; Barb tried to lose Len by taking her time in the washroom. Len waited patiently outside and thankfully he persisted and after a six year relationship they married in North London’s St. Edmunds, in England, UK. The following year they immigrated to Canada along with Len’s sister Margie on the Empress of Canada. Margie stayed in Toronto, Barb and Len chose Edmonton, AB as the name was familiar and there were jobs available in their fields of work. They traveled by train from Montreal to Edmonton where all they saw were wheat and trees as far as they eye can see. They became fast friends with Val and John Beesley. This friendship started an incredible extended family in Canada. Barb enjoyed the Edmonton festivals and participated by dressing up for the Klondike Days Promenade. Barb was dedicated to working with special needs children for over 20 years. Many of her students kept in touch with her over the years.
Barb, also affectionately known as Babs, had two children; Dan and Julie. She greatly supported their many hobbies and artistic endeavors. She enjoyed camping with her family and the children have fond memories of road trips to places like Penticton and across the United States. Barb loved to be by the ocean when she could. She also visited her family in England and loved to be there in the springtime to see the daffodils and blue-bells. Every Year in the spring Barb would decorate her back yard with as many flowers as her back-deck could hold. She wanted to make her backyard look as much like an English garden as possible.
Barb loved dogs and had three different dogs over her life, Mickey, Moose and later Charlie. She enjoyed one specific thanksgiving gathering when all the family brought their dogs, and loved watching them play in the yard.
Barb was built for retirement. She filled her schedule with many activities, volunteering, book club, lunching with her friends a.k.a “Lunch Thingy” She regularly spent time at the St. George society for various functions with fellow expat friends. She loved to read and loved browsing for books at the library.
Barb is remembered as a naturally warm, caring and compassionate person. She had a lasting impact on everyone who had the fortune of knowing her.
A memorial service will take place Tuesday, March 22, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. at Resurrection Catholic Church, 10555-50A Street NW. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Salvation Army.