Barbara Olive Williams Kennett (Willie)

Barbara Olive Williams Kennett (Willie) passed away peacefully on March 7th, 2012 in Polson North Extended Care. Willie was born in Winchester, England on August 31st, 1927. She trained as a midwife and Registered Nurse before taking a working holiday to Canada in 1955 with two other nurses. Her first stop was in Ontario where she boarded with Gordie Howe’s parents for a few months. The three adventurers then decided to see the rest of Canada and Willie wound up working on the maternity ward at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. While there, she met Brownlow Kennett who was visiting one of his sisters on the ward. They were married in 1957 and settled in Lavington. Once their two boys were established in school, Willie completed a refresher nursing course and returned to work in 1971 on the maternity ward where she helped deliver many of Vernon’s children. She was very well liked and recognized for her abilities in her chosen profession. Even after her retirement, there were numerous times where women would come up to her on the street, stores, or restaurants, and thank her for the care they received while they were in the maternity ward.

After Brownlow passed away in 1997, Willie kept herself busy travelling and enjoying her grandchildren. She is survived by her sons Robert (Della) and Geoffrey (Katerina), grandchildren Michael, Celine, Jonathan, Jaime, and Jesse, and great-grandchildren Jack, Charlie, Rogue, and Georgia.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff on Polson North for the exceptional care they provided over the past few years.

A Memorial Service for Willie will be held on Friday, March 16th at 2:00 pm at Vernon Funeral Home, 3007 – 28 Street, Vernon 250-542-0155.

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