April 17, 1933 – November 11, 2020
Barbara was born April 17, 1933, in Victoria to Ken and Jessie Foster and died November 11, 2020, in Nanaimo.
Barbara was born and raised in Royal Oak with her younger brother Daryl on Pipeline Road, around lots of cousins and near her grandparents’ house where they would often walk for Sunday dinners.
While young she developed a joy of bicycling which she continued into her 80s. After graduating from Mount Newton High School and Victoria College (now University of Victoria), she took x-ray training and worked at St. Ann’s Hospital in Victoria. It was while doing a temping stint in Nanaimo that she met Alan Hourston.
They were married on October 29, 1955 in her hometown of Victoria and settled in Nanaimo to raise their family. An early family adventure involved driving to Newfoundland and back in the 1960’s.
Shorter and more regular family travels included camping trips to the Okanagan and Rocky Mountains, as well as to the family cabin at Dolphin Beach in Nanoose. In Nanaimo they eventually moved to a waterfront home on Hammond Bay Road, which was a special place for her children to grow up.
As her children grew, she re-entered the workforce and worked for the Nanaimo School District in many different roles. One that was very important to her was with the Steps to Maturity program, through which she formed many lifelong friends.
She dedicated herself to many causes including recycling, Planned Parenthood, the Mid-Island Co-op and the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition.
An ardent environmentalist, she was instrumental in the creation of The Nanaimo Area Land Trust. Under her stewardship, the Land Trust grew to help preserve areas that include Linley Valley, areas of Mount Benson, parts of the Nanaimo River, and Buttertubbs Marsh.
She was an avid bridge player and folk dancer most of her adult life. In later years she enjoyed going to the Port Theatre regularly.
Barbara is survived by her children, Kim (Gary), Ian (Penny), Wendy (Wes), Roy (Natalie), Peter (Jenny), three grandchildren Hana, Emiko, and Aidin, and numerous cousins. She was predeceased by her husband Alan (2000), her dear friend Frank Stoney (2017) as well as her brother Daryl Foster (10/29/2020).
In keeping with her wishes, Barbara has been given a Green Burial at Royal Oak Burial Park.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Nanaimo Area Land Trust or Diabetes Canada.
To send condolences to the family, please visit
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