Eileen Barbara Chambers

October 22, 1930November 13, 2021

Barbara Eileen Chambers (Barnes) passed away peacefully in White Rock after a short illness on November 13, 2021. Barb was born on October 22, 1930 to parents Elinore and Arthur Barnes in 1930 in Edmonton, Alberta. Barb spent her younger years along with her brothers Bruce and George in Edmonton before moving to Vancouver where her father began Barnes Jewelers on Granville Street. It was not long after that Arthur passed away and life changed for the Barnes family. Elinore took over, worked hard to learn and operate the business and to put her three children through UBC. After graduation, Barb planned on teaching English, but decided to accept a position at Canadian Pacific Airlines after seeing a posting for Stewardess on the job board at UBC; and there began her love of travel and desire for adventure! She began flying out of Prince Rupert in the summer of 1952, and enjoyed the northern routes and communities. Among many travel stories, memorable ones include the first flight over the pole in 1955; living in Lima, Peru and experiencing the altitude of the Andes, Machu Picchu and travelling up the Amazon River from Iquitos solo with a guide. On Mt Mihara, Japan, while it erupted, she ran down the slope to escape the ash and smoke. Long distance air travel in the 1950s meant the flight crew stayed with the aircraft and passengers, sometimes for days if there was poor weather or engine troubles. On one trip to Japan, the flight crew, realizing they had passed the point of no return had to put the aircraft down in Adak in the Aleutian Islands. During the Cold War Adak was a military base and Barb and the two other Stewardesses were the only women at the base with over 5000 men.

Barb married Murray French Chambers (deceased October 5, 2020) on March 15, 1963, retired from her career and lovingly raised her four children, Jeffrey, Duncan, Jennifer and Michael in Lynn Valley, North Vancouver. Years later, Barb was recalled to Pacific Western Airlines (which became Canadian Airlines) and excitedly returned to work to fly with the Empress Wings “Retreads” on many trips overseas to the Orient. This began her next phase of life which she embraced while expertly balancing her family life. Barb loved her travels abroad and equally loved her special times at Cultus Lake with her family, husband, as well as her many grand-children. Once finally retired in 1991, Barb and Murray travelled to Europe and China. They cruised the Yangtze River, climbed the Great Wall, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary cruising to Alaska with their children and grandchildren, as well as enjoyed many more cruises afterwards including Panama and Mexico.

Barb always had a warm and inviting smile for everyone and a cheerful hello. She genuinely was interested in people, getting to know them and their stories. She maintained close relationships with family, many friends and neighbours throughout her life, and equally loved to share her memories both in conversation as well as through her detailed memoirs. The places she has been, the people she has met, the lives she has touched, to say she will be missed does not seem to convey our loss.

Barbara is survived by her children, Jeffrey (Elizabeth), Duncan (Lanie), Jennifer (Terry) and Michael (Robyn) along with her 11 grandchildren: Hayden, Cole, Max (Jeffrey & Elizabeth); Paisley, Mason (Duncan & Lanie) Jack, Troy, Scott, Alexa (Jennifer & Terry) Morgan, Jordan (Michael & Robyn).

A memorial service will be held at a later time. No flowers by request. Memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice. Fly away, dear Barbara.


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Eileen Barbara Chambers

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