Barbara Jean Neufeld (Edwards, nee Specht) died during cardiac surgery Wednesday, November 26th, 2008. She was very grateful to the cardiac team at St. Paul’s Hospital for giving her the possibility of a better life, though she and they knew the risks were very high. Her death was unexpected but not a surprise. Barbara survived numerous life and death medical situations throughout her life, and we all thought her courageous and determined spirit would bring her through this one too.
Barbara thrived in the outdoors. She had a passion for horses, and cherished her dog and cat companions. She was a prolific gardener. She read voraciously, published poetry and wrote a compelling novel about the healing journey of a self broken by abuse. She had a good eye for design and renovated many houses into beautiful homes. She loved the spark of a new idea. She was a deeply spiritual person, finding the light and autonomy of the Quaker tradition as her most comfortable home. She was passionate in her politics ever seeking to advance universal access to excellent health care, to limit militarism, and to achieve the socially just society she imagined Canada could be. She had a beautiful smile and a keen mind. She loved her children with unrepentant abandon and a notion they should work hard. She never ceased from striving to be the good she aspired to.
Barbara is survived by her loving husband of 22 years, La-Verne Neufeld, her three children Scott (Carli), Susan (Eric), and Mark, and their children, Amy, Cora, Rachelle, Joshua, Danica, Christine, Alex, and Yasamin. She is survived by her three step-children Heidi (Gary), Greg (Hope), and Kevin, and their children Arlen, Cory, Amanda, Jesse, Vanessa, Brittany, Dusty, and Jodi. She is survived by her siblings Dorothy (Gerry), Ann, Douglas (Margaret), and their children and grandchildren. Barbara had a wide circle of friends and extended family across the world. She will be missed by us all.
Her memorial service will be held December 17th, 2008, 10 am at the Brentwood Bay United Church, 7162 West Saanich Road, Brentwood Bay, Vancouver Island. All are welcome to join us in remembrance and celebration of her. In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Barbara’s name to the cardiac centre of St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver.