MEREDITH, Barbara Mary
April 22, 1922 – November 12, 2015
Barbara Meredith had a long and happy life. When reflecting on her lifetime of ninety-three years, her eyes would sparkle and she would emphasize how lucky she had been to have had caring parents, a large and loving family and a wide circle of loyal friends. She also felt she was privileged to have lived in Vancouver and close to the sea.
Born in Vancouver in 1922, her parents were Georgina and Lawrence Diether, early residents of the city where her mother had also been born. Barbara enjoyed the companionship of her younger brother, Robert Lawrence Diether, who later married Doo Housser.
A graduate of Magee High School, Barbara completed three years at University of British Columbia before leaving in 1943, during the Second World War, to join The Women's Royal Canadian Navy. The WRENS, as it became known, had been founded in 1942 and was an element of The Royal Canadian Navy. Women performed non-combative roles ashore both in Canada and abroad. Barbara served with the Signal Corps in Ottawa until the end of the war. She lived in barracks and recalled seeing from there Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie-King walking his dog each day.
She used to say, "I can remember being so excited when leaving Vancouver for the first time. I had never been on a train before. That, for me, was real adventure."
Upon returning to Vancouver she completed a Commerce degree at U.B.C. in 1947, which was somewhat unusual for women at the time.
Barbara married John Roy McIntosh the following year. They had three children: Jane, John and Anna. They enjoyed happy family times in their home on Angus Drive. "Together my parents provided me with a wonderful, secure, exciting and fun childhood for which I will always be grateful and of which I will always have fond memories," recalls her son, John.
"Everything Mum did she did with much enthusiasm and always a twinkle in her eyes, be it playing golf, bridge, painting or sailing the coast of British Columbia," recounts Jane Frost, her daughter, with whom she lived in her spry nineties.
Barbara was among the first Friends of the Gardens of U.B.C. Botanical Garden - a membership and interest she maintained for a lifetime. The same was true of her passion for the books by Jane Austen. She took part in the activities of the Jane Austen Society of North America for many years.
Barbara married The Honourable Kenneth Elliott Meredith in 1976. He was a Vancouver lawyer and judge of the Supreme Court of B.C. who had distinguished himself during the Second World War as Captain of the Corvette H.M.C.S. Trillium, making him, at twenty-one, one of the youngest commanders in the British Commonwealth at the time.
Their extended family life was one of devotion to Barbara's and Ken's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Ken's family consists of Deborah Meredith and Perry Goldsmith and their children Blair, Robyn and Fraser; Guy Meredith and his children, Danielle and Nicola; and Daphne Meredith and Gilles Verret and their children Nigel and William. Barbara's family consists of Anna and Mark Termuende; Jane Frost and her children Gardy and Kate Frost, Adam Frost and Nora Cranley, and Wilson and Alana Frost; and John and Candy and their children John, Jamie and Tim McIntosh. Barbara's great-grandchildren are Avery, Charlie, Hudson, Dashiell, Emmett and Harlow.
"Barbara was known to her family as 'Bobby,'" says her daughter Anna. "She was the matriarch to whom we all turned for wise advice, understanding, fun and love. All of this large family will miss Bobby very much. She was a force in our lives."
The family extends their thanks to Maureen McIntosh and the staff at Braddan Private Hospital and Dr. Michael Burns from Raven Song Community Health Centre for their exceptional care of Barbara. A special thanks to Dr. Saul Isserow whose long term care maintained Barbara's quality of life. A Memorial Service will be held at St. Mary's Anglican Church at 37th and Larch on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the UBC Botanical Gardens, http://support.ubc.ca/botanical-