BARBARA RUTH (Foster) HOURSTON
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) and Peter (Jenny), and 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 will be given a Green Burial at Royal Oak Burial Park. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Nanaimo Area Land Trust or Diabetes Canada.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
BARBARA RUTH (Foster) HOURSTON
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November 24, 2020
A wonderful, wonderful woman who has left an amazing legacy for Nanaimo. I will miss her beautiful, smiling face. RIP Barb.
November 23, 2020
Although I met Barbara only once, at Roy and Natalie's wedding, she made an impression on me especially regarding how active and involved she was in her community. I had no idea to what extent until reading her tribute. Very admirable.
My sincere sympathy to her family.
November 22, 2020
Dear Kim and family: On behalf of my brother and I, sincere condolences on the loss of your mother. We remember her as a true trail blazer, an inspiration to her family and to the community as a whole. Thanks to her hard work and dedication, important parcels of Nanaimo's special landscape will remain natural in perpetuity. We are grateful. Kind regards, Margaret Symon (BC) and John Symon (Quebec)
November 22, 2020
Kim, Ian, Wendy, Roy and Peter... you mother was someone I looked up to. I remember visiting your house and having dinner there - it was an oasis of thoughtful, fun, intellectual coolness... a different sort of place and family. A beautiful home, made comfy, casual and welcoming by your feisty and fun loving mother.
Over the years, I've seen her letters to the editor and heard about her continued deep engagement with life and her community. You were lucky to have her, and I am glad I knew her.
November 20, 2020
Barbara was a kindred spirit I first met when she was one of the 6 Steps to Maturity aides who formed a much-respected team within School District 68 (Nanaimo). We kept bumping into one another at community events until I felt like a cousin. We worked together informally many times on various causes and when she turned her attention to land trust work I knew she had found her special niche.
I loved her impish, outspoken humour as much as her uncompromising commitment to world repair. Barbara's work in life was not unfinished. It was a work of art she was satisfied with and she was firm in stepping aside to enjoy life when "coming down the home straight."
I offer congratulations to all who knew her. She will live in our thoughts and bring quiet smiles in quiet moments.
November 20, 2020
Dear Ian, Kim, Wendy, Roy and Pete.( did I get the right order) and granddaughters too..
I first met Barb when we did our years "training' together for our entry into 'Steps to Maturity'.. we forged a special bond with each other, which continued long after we had all retired and the program was no longer.. That bond was evident at our lunches, where we 'communicated, commisserated, and set the world straight.' Barb was the 'environmental' voice in our group (and the community,) as well as the quiet voice of reason in all our life's many challenges . She didn't like having COPD..but it never stopped her from doing the things she loved , and she was determined to continue riding her bike long after we all thought she should stop.. No fuss, no bother, she just quietly and determinedly kept on going..She deeply loved her family her friends, and her community..which was evident with the tribute given by our mayor at the last council meeting..
A life well lived is the measure of a great person, and that was Barb...My deepest condolences to you all, we shall toast her at our next luncheon..( which may not be for a while yet)
Many hugs to you all, 'Step Sister' Sharon Brown
November 17, 2020
Sincere condolences on your loss. We greatly appreciate her commitment to the environment and dedicated activism in the culmination of the Nanaimo Land Trust so our children can enjoy the beautiful Linley Valley and Neck Point.. among others. She was an admirable trail blazer, Nanaimo has lost a legend.
November 13, 2020
My sincere condolences to my cousins Kim, Ian, Wendy, Roy, and Peter. There is a special place in heaven for this very special lady.