THOMPSON, Barbara Jean


We are hugely saddened to announce that Barbara died at Bridgewater Hospital in Nova Scotia on Thursday, August 4, 2022, after a long respiratory illness. She will be greatly missed by sisters Fiona and Wendy, brothers Michael and David, brothers-in-law Andrew and Darryl, sisters-in-law Donna and Sandra, and also Laura, and by many dear friends, especially Janet, in Lunenburg and Ontario.

Barb was gifted with easy intelligence and a top-of-the-class creative ability. She was a quiet wit with laughter in her soul and a great gift for making deep, enduring friendships. She made cats purr with the pleasure of her company.

Barbara was born in Liverpool, England on November 15, 1946, the first daughter to Tina and Geoff Thompson. Her older brother, Craig, died tragically at three-and-a-half the following year. When she was five, Barb’s parents decided to emigrate to Canada. Her father went ahead in 1951 and her mother, with Barbara and her younger sister Fiona, sailed from Liverpool on RMS Franconia in August 1952. The family settled in Ajax, Ontario where Wendy, Michael and David were born.

Barb was always a Grade A student. Fiona remembers her grade four teacher looking over his spectacles after her first test and asking: “Are you sure you’re Barbara’s sister?” Barb graduated from Ajax High School in 1965 and went to Guelph University, graduating with a BA in French, followed by an MA in Library Science from the University of Western. Her first job as a librarian was at the Nursing School in Stratford, Ontario followed by 15 years as Branch Head at the Preston branch of Cambridge Public Library.

It was while at Preston that Barb and a number of colleagues who became close friends formed the Gorm Club. Initially they served “gourmet” meals in each other’s homes and later sourced the most publicly embarrassing stunts possible which members, each in their turn, had to perform on their birthdays.

In 1989 Barb became Branch Head at the Hillsburgh branch of the Erin Township Regional Library, while also running Garden Gate Antique and Gift Shop with Janet.

Having both decided to move to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Barbara made the 1,207-mile journey during the Great North American Ice Storm of early January 1998, driving in a little Toyota Tercel packed to the rafters. It was so icy she had to take refuge in a motel in Quebec for two nights, crawling across the parking lot on her hands and knees.

Barb made many new friends in Lunenburg, working as a title researcher at the County Registry Office, at a health food store and at a bookstore in Mahone Bay. She sang in a choir and volunteered at SHAID Tree Animal Shelter for many years, having always had a profound concern for animal welfare.

Barb regularly went back to Ontario to visit family and friends and also spent three, six-month stints in Norfolk, England, working with Fiona and Andrew in their B&B and holiday cottage business. She loved her times in Norfolk, the wide, empty beaches, the lovely dogs, the walking holidays, and more new friends.

In every house she lived in, Barbara created a beautiful home and garden. She had a brilliant eye, was a truly wonderful designer and a decorator of perfection.

Barb was vehement that she didn’t want to have a funeral. Instead, she wanted to have a party, “with lots of laughter and wine”. Details will follow but it looks like there will be three - one in Nova Scotia with many dear friends; one in Ontario with her cousins, more friends and her much loved nephews and nieces Derek, Nicholas, Chelsea, Geoffrey, Kevin and Crystal and one in Liverpool with Fiona and Andrew and UK cousins.

We would like to thank the following for their help: Dr. Camille Munro and Rachelle Rebman, RN, from the South Shore Area Palliative Care Service; friends Cathy Risser and Sarah Waterfield; the staff at both the Fisherman's Memorial Hospital and the South Shore Regional Hospital.

Barb was a hugely kind, gentle woman who will be sorely missed by many. For anyone wanting to make a donation in her memory, please make it to the SHAID Tree Animal Shelter via the following link:

For more information, contact Wendy Tims on or Janet Cowan on

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