Passed away peacefully at home in her 76th year, after an eight-year struggle with COPD. Survived by her husband of 56 years, Peter, and daughter Charmaine Barton (Scott), and grandson Ethan Barton (Erin Kamstra). Barbara will be mourned by her sister Anna (Catharine Tutt) and brother Andrew (Catherine), as were her pre-deceased parents Andrew and Veronica (Orosz) and younger sister, Elizabeth (Liz). Barbara’s extended family will feel her loss as well, Paul and Frances Ashenhurst and their children; Fiona Ellison (Grant), Lisa, and Jason. As well, Barbara’s Reko nieces and nephew will feel the loss; Katherine (Dan Vander Gaag), Christine and Andrew (Ashleigh). Barbara will also be mourned globally, as during the 90s she was a “mother” to 15 exchange students from 8 different countries.
Barbara was born and raised in Hamilton and graduated high school from Cathedral Girls School. She entered McMaster University in the field of civil engineering. It was at university that she met Peter, while he was working as the works surveyor for the construction of the new McMaster University Medical Centre. After getting married in 1966, they were employed at the Department of Highways, Keele Street office in Downsview. In the late 60’s Barbara started employment at the City of Hamilton in the surveys department and that started a long career as a dedicated public servant. Barb retired from the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth on January 1, 2000, as the Manager, Finance & Administration for the Regional Road Division.
Barbara’s strong Hungarian heritage ensured she became very proficient in the needle arts of cross-stitching, petit point, needle point and embroidery, and the fiber arts of knitting and crocheting. She was also an excellent seamstress making all manner of clothing for herself, family members and others. Who could forget the annual Halloween costumes she prepared for all the nieces and nephews? Barb then started her retirement career of gardening at their new home in Freelton, eventually winning 7 Trillium Awards and highlighted with the Pink Trillium Award in 2008 (best in Flamborough). At the same time, she was engaged in Meals-on-Wheels and the Flamborough Animal Adoptions. She also started her new hobby of genealogy, generating reams of ancestral data on the immediate and extended family lineages. This genealogy interest, along with the hosting of foreign exchange students was the cause for a lot of the world travelling, she and Peter did, eventually covering some 20 countries.
When Peter retired in 2010, they moved to their condominium in Cambridge. Here, Barb became the President in 2014 for their condo and was deeply involved in the condominium community’s administration. Eventually her illness sidelined this activity as she spent her efforts to cope with COPD.
The family would like to express their deepest appreciation to Dr. Celine Sandor and the palliative care team at ParaMed for keeping Barbara comfortable during the final year of her life.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her memory, to the Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation, for COPD education through The Ashenhurst Scholarship Fund or a medical charity of your choice.
The family has had a private service after cremation. Please join the family and friends for a Celebration of Life on Sunday, May 15, 2022, from 1:00PM to 4:00PM at the Shades Mills community’s Club 80, at 80 Beasley Crescent, Cambridge, ON, N1T 1P5. If you wish to attend, please notify us at [email protected] for updates and directions. If you have any thoughts, comments, memories or photos of Barbara that you wish to share, please forward to the above email address.
Messages and condolences may be left at www.tricitycremations.com
Published by The Hamilton Spectator on Apr. 12, 2022.