June 22, 1931 – January 2, 2021
Barbara Frances Murray was born on June 22nd, 1931 in Manilla, NSW, Australia. She passed away peacefully on January 2nd, 2021 in Chilliwack, BC.
Barbara grew up in Australia, the cherished daughter of Florence and Vivian Young. She had a loving start in life, surrounded by family and community throughout the Great Depression and World War II years.
She went off to teacher’s college to become a kindergarten teacher, and at age 18 Miss Young led her first class of children. This was the beginning of a wonderful career that allowed Barbara to offer her great gifts to the world.
Barbara arrived in Vancouver as a young bride with her husband, fellow Australian John McKibbin, in 1957. She was tragically widowed the following year when John died in the Second Narrows Bridge collapse. Barbara courageously stayed on in Canada, and eventually met the Scotsman Iain Murray. They were married in 1960 and created a highly fulfilling life together in their chosen town of Chilliwack.
As a young mother, Barbara joined the Hospital Service League, serving as President in 1969. When she returned to teaching, her kindergarten classroom was a welcoming and creative place for many Chilliwack children over the years. She loved her job, her young students and being part of the teaching community. While teaching, Barbara also attained her Bachelor of Education at the University of British Columbia.
After Barbara retired, she embraced volunteering with the same wholehearted enthusiasm she had brought to teaching, helping to cultivate the arts in Chilliwack with the Community Arts Council, the Music Academy, and Friends of the Theatre. She received the Soroptimists’ Chilliwack Woman of the Year award in 2008, and Chilliwack Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Fellowship in 2010.
Barbara also found joy in entertaining, and travelling with Iain or her friends. She was passionate about classical music, especially early music and opera, and theatre, especially Shakespeare. Barbara was known for her vivacity, generosity, and brightness of spirit; her warm, gracious and wise presence brought out the best in others, and endeared her to all who knew her.
Barbara will be lovingly remembered by her husband Iain, daughters Lynn and Karen, son-in-law Les, grandson Jack, and sister Judy, along with many dear relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the BC SPCA in memory of Barbara Murray. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
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