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.


  1. Mandy

    So very sorry for the loss of Barb-wife,mother and friend. warm thoughts of her lovely smile and generous heart-she will be missed -love from Mandy, Bob and Reg(Martin) St. George’s

  2. Christine Molden

    So sad to hear of Barbs passing. She was such a fun and loving lady. It was such a pleasure to work with her and all her antics. Love Christine and Jason Molden

  3. Nicole

    So sorry to hear about Barb’s passing. She was a very kind lady who obviously enjoyed a life of adventure and fun and it was a pleasure to know her. My sincerest condolences to the Rowley family.

  4. Jo Heggerud

    What a gorgeous tribute to such an incredible woman! Only a smile comes to my face when I think of Barb! Larger than life. All my thoughts are with you Len, Dan and Julie ♥️

  5. Sarah Jones

    Very sorry for your loss, Len, Dan and Julie. Barb was a wonderful person and I shall miss her dearly. She was so a warm and witty addition to our St. George club activities xx

    • Julie Bailey

      A lovely tribute to wonderful Barb. We have such lovely memories of our Royal parties . We are thinking of you all at this sad time. The Baileys, Alton, England.

  6. Steve Foster

    I’m so sorry for your loss. She was a lovely lady, dear old Auntie Babs. I have many fond memories of her when she came to visit Nan and Uncle Tony. Our thoughts are with you Uncle Len, Dan and Julie. All our Love. Steve, Zoe, Eleanor & Amelia x

  7. Steve Foster

    So sorry for your loss. She was a lovely lady, dear old Auntie Babs. I have many fond memories when she came to visit Nan and Uncle Tony in England. Our thoughts are with you Uncle Len, Dan and Julie. All our love. Steve, Zoe, Eleanor & Amelia. Look after yourselves x

  8. Ann Hender

    I’ll miss Barb so very much, our Lunch Thingy won’t be the same without you Barb.
    You were a wonderful friend to have in my life .
    Thanks for all the wonderful good memories and laughs we had together.

  9. Jackie Brewer

    I don’t know what to say, Aunty Barb was a very special lady to me; some of my oldest memories are of spending time at her house when I was little. Having no blood relatives nearby in Edmonton, she and Uncle Len quickly became family. She was so much fun, funny and loving and sweet. Loved to dance! Her New Year’s Eve parties were the bomb! Her passing will leave a large hole in the hearts of many who loved her, and me too. Rest in peace, Aunty Barb, love you!


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