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Egan, Barbara Audrey

(June 19th, 2024)

Barbara Audrey Egan (nee Wintersgill) passed away peacefully, with love and prayers, her husband and daughter at her side, at her daughter’s home in Nelson, BC, on June 19th, 2024.

She was born July 21st, 1935, to Joseph and Louise Wintersgill, in Dryden, Ontario, the second youngest of seven girls. Sadly, her youngest sister died in infancy.  Barbara spent much of her youth babysitting her sister’s children, and had a special relationship with all her sisters, nieces, and nephews.

Barbara graduated with top marks from St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Dryden, and hoped to attend business college.  Instead, she worked for a local accountant to help support her parents, as her father had pernicious anemia, and could no longer work.  After a year, Barbara enlisted her siblings to help support their parents and she then moved to Brandon, Manitoba to attend business college.

There she met her future husband, Bryan Egan, at a young adults’ dance at the Catholic Church.  They married on November 24, 1956, and started their family in Brandon, before moving to Winnipeg for seven years.  Bryan was then transferred to Vancouver, and they settled in Coquitlam.  The family started making bi-annual camping trips across Canada so Barbara could visit her mom and sisters in Dryden and Dad his siblings in Winnipeg. Much fun was had by all on these trips.  Once their three children were all in school, Barbara resumed working as an accountant.  Ten years later, they moved to Salmon Arm where they ran their own convenience store called Egans’ Market for 18 years.  They had two attempted robberies, the first at gunpoint.  Working the store alone, Barbara could not stop screaming when the robber brandished a sawed-off shotgun, and the robber fled when he heard the family come running from the upstairs residence.

Upon retirement, they designed and helped build their home on the remote shores of Shuswap Lake, a 45-minute drive from Salmon Arm, where they and one other couple were the only year-round residents.  Barbara had a great love for her pets and walking on the beach or in the surrounding forest.  She was involved in the Lions Club, the Catholic Woman’s League, square dancing, and much involved in her children’s and 11 grand-children’s lives.

Their home on Shuswap Lake and their gracious fun company made for the best family vacations for all.  Family and faith were paramount, and she and Bryan were the centre of all special holidays and family celebrations, as well as the grandchildren’s Catholic Sacraments, arts performances and sporting events.  She crocheted the beautiful elaborate baptism gown worn by most of her grandchildren.  She was a welcome help after all the births of her grandchildren, bringing in staff at their store in order to stay weeks at a time.

Barbara underwent breast cancer treatments twice.  She also suffered terribly with migraine headaches her entire life.  Sadly, she accidentally overdosed on a migraine medication, which caused a stroke, and brought on her slow decline with dementia.  With the support of Bryan and family, and the amazing caring staff at Andover Terrace in Salmon Arm, they were able to keep living together independently well into their 80’s.

At the age of 85, Barbara could no longer walk and required a wheelchair.    The day after their 65th Wedding Anniversary, she entered Mountain Lake Senior Facility in Nelson.  We are so grateful to the many lovely care aids and nurses, who took her under their wings for her last three years.  However, she continued to grace our home family celebrations, and enjoy her six great grandchildren.  She loved going for outings and picnics in Lakeside Park, thanks to the kind people at HandiDart and Glacier Taxi, who offer wheelchair transportation.  She frequently surprised us with her great sense of humour, and her beautiful smiles of joy, especially when she came to her daughter’s home with Bryan for sleep-over visits or enjoyed Sunday brunches after Mass with Bryan and family.  To the very end of her life, Barbara attended Mass every Sunday, her opportunity to be with Jesus in person at her beloved Catholic Church. Her cherished husband, Bryan, and her family, truly honour her faith, courage, guidance, and enduring love.

Barbara is survived by her husband of 67 years, Bryan Egan (Nelson), and their three children:  Patrick (Elda) Egan (Prince George), Dawn (Rick) Rodman (Nelson), and Peter Egan (Surrey); her 11 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

The Funeral Mass will take place at the Cathedral of Mary Immaculate, 813 Ward Street, Nelson, on Saturday, July 6th, at 10 am.  Interment will follow at the Nelson Memorial Cemetery with a reception afterwards in the Jubilee Room at the Cathedral.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Nelson Right-To-Life Society via the Cathedral of Mary Immaculate.

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