Barbara Anne Forster

July 17, 1953May 5, 2019

Barbara Anne Forster July 17, 1953 to May 5, 2019.

Barbara was born in Trenton, NJ. and raised, along with her 5 siblings, in the nearby Township of Hamilton. As the second oldest she took on many domestic responsibilities from making school lunches to laundry duty. During her college years she stayed at home and it was not unusual for her to hold two jobs. After completing her teaching degree and seeking something different she moved west. She took a teaching position at St. Michaels, Arizona, near Window Rock, teaching on the Navajo Reservation. Over the course of two years she lived in a Navajo community and explored the southwest and U.S. west coast.

Her next stop was further west, even west of Hawaii, seven hours flying time west, to the island of Guam. There she taught at Santa Barbara School in the village of Dededo. She was sent a one-way ticket. Guam proved a great springboard to explore the rest of Micronesia and the nearby Asian countries of Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Barb also managed a trip to Ireland.

On Guam Barbara was asked to go on a sailing date aboard a 16’ catamaran. Within 6 months she had married the captain. Within a year of their nuptials they sold all they owned and with backpacks ready, struck off with only a general itinerary and no reservations into the South Pacific, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Nepal (completing a 2 week on-their-own trek). Finally, after a year of traveling Barbara was offered a librarian position on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.

After about 18 months in the Caribbean they returned to the mainland US. Their dream vehicle was a lime green VW Camper which they used to crisscross the country even transiting the northern Rockies in winter. This time they landed outside Philadelphia. After a year they moved to Boston where Barbara worked at the Harvard Business School library.

Her husband, Dan, was able to find an 18-month position with the United Nations in Thailand. They arrived there in time for the birth of her first child. After Bangkok they lived in Jakarta, Indonesia. The family returned to Guam for 5 years where she worked as a librarian at St. John’s School, and gave birth to her second child. But while 5 months pregnant she went on a one month camping road trip in Europe.

Next stop was Barrow, Alaska, 350 miles north of the Arctic Circle situated on the Arctic Ocean. This led to 3 years of living and working in a predominately Inuit community. During this time she completed her Master of Library Science from Syracuse University, NY.

Then an offer came to move to Warsaw, Poland. That project had a 15-month life which allowed for extensive travel within Poland and personal hops to Ireland, Egypt, and Italy.

In 1999 they decided to return to San Diego, Dan’s home town, where they settled down to domestic bliss. She loved working at Dana Middle School library a position she held for 9 years. In 2012 they both finally retired. In “retirement” they purchased a small RV, and again traveled the US and Canada. During this time, they finally made it to all 50 states.

Barbara had a distinctive laugh and has been described as a bright light shedding warmth, friendship, generosity and humor to all who knew her. She was a loving mother and devoted wife and stayed close to her family. Barbara is predeceased by her father, J. Robert Kinsley and survived by her mother Anne (Dietrich) Kinsley, her husband Dan and children Kelly and Charles and her favorite son-in-law Griffin Hagle. Also surviving are brothers Robert (Brenda), William (Emily), Patrick (Robin) and Tim and sister Susan Dunsmoor, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial celebration will be held at The Harp, 4935 Newport Ave. in Ocean Beach, on Sunday June 9th starting at 2 PM.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Barbara Anne Forster

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Bill Dietrich

May 20, 2019

Barb always was so bright and lively. We'll all remember her fondly.

Diane Cullins

May 19, 2019

Although I met Barbara only briefly when I worked at the San Diego Unified School District, I know many who knew her well and always had wonderful things to say about her. Her husband, Dan, helped me out with my Roadtrek, which was very nice, and from reading this obituary, learned what a fabulous and interesting life they shared. I know she will be missed greatly.

Juliette Zaiser

May 18, 2019

I have not been in the USA since Aug. 1st 2017 and the last time I saw Barbara and Dan was July 30, 2017. Her last message was about sending Christmas cards 2018...always thinking of others. But, we first met in the early 90s on Guam. Our son was a student at the school where Barbara was the librarian. She introduced Andrew to his favorite author. Barbara and I actually met where we lived, in the housing community known as Perez Acres. Both my son and daughter were trusted to babysit Kelly and Charles and I had the privilege of teaching them to swim. We all knew Barbara as a kind, helpful, reliable, funny and knowledgeable neighbor. I can still hear her laugh. It was so memorable and special. She and I bonded in a way that even if we didn't see one another for years, it didn't matter. Christmas cards, pictures, emails and letters kept us in touch...and then came facebook (10 years of instant messages), our children became young adults, both daughters studied abroad (Kelly in Delhi and Erica in Canterbury), both did the Peace Corps and we shared stories of our lives abroad. With my mother living in Southern California and with Dan and Barbara back in San Diego we were able to connect almost yearly to catch up and renew our bond over the last few years. Even as she fought these last 5-6 years she and Dan were always the most gracious hosts, I treasure those times and will miss my special friend immensely. She loved big and she is forever loved. Dan, Kelly, Charles, we'd love to see you in Tokyo. You are always welcome. I'm sorry not to make the memorial, but you will be in our thoughts.

Carol Macrini

May 18, 2019

I was in awe of cousin Barb's life. There was no adventure too far or climate too extreme. Yet she was so down to earth and low key about it all. Truly a person of grace and humor.

Michael Kupilik

May 18, 2019

Barb was a light in the lives she touched. Her open and friendly response to everyone with whom she had contact was amazing. We will be forever grateful to the friendship and help she gave to our Uncle Bill, and the support she gave to us during our time in San Diego. We think often of her infectious laugh and genuine smile. She will be missed. Our sincere condolences to you, Dan, and your family. Mike and Alice Kupilik