With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Francisca Barnum. She was predeceased by her husband, Walter (January 28, 1913-July 4, 2008); her sister, “Riek”; her brother, Jan; her son Geoff’s partner, Erin Jones; and her great granddaughter, Isabella Dooley (September 29, 2012-October 19, 2016.) She is survived by one brother, Jacobus “Ko” Otter of Burnaby. Francis leaves behind five sons to love and forever remember her, Ernie & Kathy Barnum of Gibsons; their children Daniel Barnum & Maria Waring of Salmon Arm, Samuel Barnum & Crystal Bewza of Vancouver, Rebekah & Peter Dooley of Burnaby, and Deborah Barnum & Steve Zawadowski of Winnipeg; John Barnum and his sons, Clinton & Duncan (Jessica) Barnum of Parksville and their mother, Lois Turner of Parksville; Adriaan “Ade” & Melanie Barnum of Nanaimo; their children, Kelsey Barnum of Calgary and Burke Barnum of Nanaimo; Gerry Barnum & Sarah Wood of Nanaimo and their son, Caleb McIntyre of Nanaimo; Geoff Barnum of Parksville. Francis also leaves behind her five great grandchildren, Daniel & Maria’s twins, Samuel & Maxwell, Rebekah & Peter’s son, Jeremiah, Duncan & Jessica’s son, Harlin and daughter, Nova.
At her birth in Atambua, Dutch Timor, Indonesia, her father Roelof Otter was a military administrator for the Colonial Government and her mother, Adriaana, was one of the few European women in the northwestern part of the island of Timor. She lived with her maternal grandparents in Holland from age 5 to 13, when she then returned to Indonesia with her family. Just before WWII she returned to Holland and trained as a nurse. At the end of the war she met Walter in Meppel but had to wait until May 10, 1947 before they could be married on a farm outside Hamilton, Ontario.
The newlyweds first arrived in Coombs, but soon moved to the home they built together at 513 Pioneer Crescent. Francis made the boys clothes, darned Walter’s wool socks and mended his work clothes so well that his boss passed Walt’s safety inspection without even looking! Francis took great pride in excelling as a housewife and cooking the family favourites of pea soup with ham, tuna casserole, rice pudding, and Walter’s lemon meringue pie. She was a needlework master of knitted baby clothes, beautiful wool sweaters and intricate crochet.
As the boys grew older, she made time to volunteer with the Ladies Auxiliaries to the fire department and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 49, the SOS thrift store, and the United Church Women, where she knitted toques and teddy bears for African children. She also worked as one of the head cooks at the Island Hall Hotel, Qualicum College Inn, George Inn, Arlington Hotel, and she helped many people as a caregiver with the Homemaker Society, the forerunner of VIHA Home Support.
In 1986 Walter and Francis moved to 16 Sangster Place, where she continued to garden and developed close friendships with her neighbours. On June 30th, 2017, she moved to her final home at Arrowsmith Lodge where she died peacefully.
A service to honour Francis will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 26th at the Knox United Church, 345 Pym Street, Parksville, BC. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Fund www.legion.ca or the SOS in Parksville www.sos69.com.
To send a condolence to the family please visit www.yatesmemorial.ca.
Yates Memorial Services 250-248-5859.
“Lives Cherished and Celebrated”