Mrs. Barbara Odette Hamar
April 21, 1921 – February 11, 2021
Our mom, grandmother, great-grandmother and matriarch of our family was born April 12th, 1921. She passed from us on February 11th, 2021, in her 100th year. What an amazing, full life! She had seen many impactful events and developments in her life. She had experienced many joyous times, as well as many deeply sorrowful ones. To mom, the most important events of her life revolved around her family, her parents, her husband, children and grandchildren.
Mom was raised an only child by her loving parents William and Adeliza Brown of Burnaby. She herself was a lifelong resident of Burnaby until her final few years in loving care at Nicola Lodge in Port Coquitlam.
As a young girl, mom enjoyed being active. She enjoyed lacrosse; she had her own lacrosse stick and would use it to play catch with her dog. She was a big New Westminster Salmonbellies fan, as well, and one of her favourite things was when Grandpa Brown would take her to Salmonbellies games. They even attended the victory parade after New West won the Mann Cup.
In her teen years, mom bore witness to the Second World War. It was during this time she came to know a young, handsome soldier named Nairn. She had gone to the train station, with her friend, Marjorie, to say goobye to their friend, Bill, who was going back East for military training. It happened that Uncle Bill, as we would come to know him, was with his friend, Nairn, who was also going East for training. Our dad had asked mom if he could write her and, of course, she said yes.
As it turned out their love swiftly blossomed and soon, as often happened in wartime, they were engaged to be married. Her parents expressed concern over marrying a soldier, perhaps being that Grandpa was a veteran of the First World War and carried the emotional and physical scars from it. Grandma Brown asked her if she would be able to look across the table at that face for the next 50 years and she said, “Yes mom.”
Mom was not to be deterred; she was certain that this was the man she loved and intended to marry, in spite of the uncertainty that wartime would bring. It became clear that Mom’s judgment of character was impeccable, as our dad was a warm, loving and dedicated husband and father, whom Grandpa and Grandma quickly grew to love as their own.
Mom and dad were married November 9th, 1940 and the ceremony was held at her parents home on Hersham Avenue in Burnaby. Their neighbour had offered some beautiful flowers from their own garden for the ceremony, which mom often spoke of. Although an only child mom always wanted a large family, as did our dad who came from a family with four sisters. Mom was accepted openly by dad’s family and was often teased by his sisters, which she always enjoyed and why she felt so accepted. Mom and dad started their family during the war, beginning with Dale and followed in the next few years with Carol, and then Bill. In the years that followed, mom and dad always made time with their children, the top priority from being involved with sports and music, to summer and winter trips to Chilliwack to visit cousins, always nurturing strong family bonds.
Some years passed, eleven to be exact, and mom and dad were blessed with another daughter, Julie, followed a few years later with me. By the time the last of mom and dad’s kids were born, our dad had become very ill with cancer. Mom endured the unbearable sadness of losing her beloved husband and father to her children. Dad’s passing left an incredible hole in our family and in spite of the sorrow our mom carried on parenting in the most dedicated of ways. Always making sure her kids never went without, mom always saw to it that sports, music, family vacations and other activities were always available to us. Mom was a wonderful cook and baker. For us, her kids, coming home to the smell of homemade soup or enjoying a thick slice of fresh baked bread, just out of the oven, are warm memories that endure today.
Over the years, as her kids gradually left the nest to forge their own paths and start their own families, our mom always openly and lovingly accepted, as family, the people her children chose to love. As a result of her love of knitting, we were enjoyed the benefits of warm knitted sweaters for us and booties, bonnets and blankets for our babies. I can personally attest to many of these being knitted while mom attended my early morning hockey practices.
In the ensuing years our mom’s greatest joy was having grandchildren and she had a lot of them: twelve grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She treasured each and every one of them. Visiting grandma’s house was always a joyful event. Rules or restrictions always seemed to be lax or nonexistent, whether it was running around the house playing loudly, sliding down the stairs on a board, not thinking about the consequences of landing at the bottom, quietly cuddling, reading stories or watching a movie on TV. Mom would take her grandkids down to her pool for a swim on warm sunny days and they would always enjoy walks to the pond at the golf course to feed the ducks. Mom dearly loved her grandchildren and they adored her.
Later in life, our mom suffered what no parent should have to live through, the loss of one of her children, Bill. As with our dad, as deeply broken-hearted and sorrowful as she was our mom endured drawing from the inner strength that she nurtured in all of us, to again share in and cherish the love of family. In her last years, when she was no longer able to live independently, mom resided at Nicola Lodge where we were often told by the caregivers there that mom was always one of their favourite residents. She always receiving loving care there. We are blessed in knowing that mom was vibrant up to the end of her life; and even after her stroke, when we would visit and play music for her, something she always loved, though unable to speak she still found a way to communicate, through her eyes or by squeezing our hand, as though to let us know that she is at peace and knows that we will be alright. Such was her strength.
We cherish her memory like the sound of her beautiful voice singing, when we were children. Though we morn her passing, we take comfort in the knowledge that at long last she is reunited with her patiently waiting husband, her son and her parents; however, never far from us. Until we meet again mom … we love you always.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.forestlawn-burnaby.com for the Hamar family.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Mrs. Barbara Odette Hamar
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February 26, 2021
Granny was always so open and warm, she had the best stories and the yummiest blueberry pie. You will be missed dearly Granny. My deepest condolences to all the family ❤️