BARBARA HELEN SIMONDS

Barbara was the youngest daughter of John and Helen Puetz and grew up in Illinois and Ohio. In fact, for many years she lived next door to her future husband after he came back from WWII.

Barbara married Fred (1921 – 2002) and worked as a bank teller to help Fred get his degree in Wildlife and Forest Conservation. They loved camping and hiking where Fred worked as a park manager in Ohio.

In 1950 Barb gave birth to her first daughter, Kathleen and Pamela in 1952. The whole family moved across the states in 1954 to San Jacinto for a few years then Oroville and finally Tule Lake, California. They lived there for six years and spent every summer in the bush in Oregon, camping, hiking, horseback riding, fishing and having a great time.

Some of the summers were spent in Northern B.C. where Barb and Fred found their ‘dream’ home, circa 1940. It was a log house that had been taken over by pack rats, 67+ of whom were removed so the family could all move in.

Fred started sheep farming and a one-man sawmill, cutting ties. After three years Barb started working as a secretary at Grassy Plains school. She lasted from 1964 to 1988.

She became everyone’s mom, friend, nurse as well as doing all the busy secretarial work. She loved her job and her cozy little teacherage that she rented so she wouldn’t have to fight the roads from the farm to the school. She also appreciated the running water, electricity and all the amenities that went with it.

Milking cows wasn’t her favorite activity but baking fast became her forté, and everyone agreed. Cinnamon rolls, bread, cookies, hand-picked berry pies, and homemade butter, to name a few of her specialities. And there was always a big honking bottle of red rot-gut wine for a good unwind after school.

As the years rolled by, arthritis hit Fred and Barb. Barb had a knee replacement but her bad ankle never left her pain-free. It was hard to walk and stairs were a real struggle for her.

In 2002 she lost Fred to rheumatoid arthritis and melanoma. Eight years before she had lost her sister to cancer. She felt quite alone and lonely when Kathy had to move to the Vancouver Cancer Clinic for treatment. But she did come to visit. Her first visit was scary for her but she stayed three weeks this past summer and had a great time. Still didn’t like Vancouver but enjoyed what the city had to offer.

Her chest had been bothering her for awhile. She wanted to die before Kathy, die fast and die on the farm. She was blessed with all three wishes coming true. We miss her tremendously but are pleased she’s with her loved ones and free of pain.

We are extremely grateful for all the love and help her friends gave her these past years.

Bye Mom, we love you dearly and always will. Thank you everyone.

Kathy, Pam, Mark and Katie