Barbara “Barb” Elizabeth Wells Mackenzie-Rees was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She left this world suddenly on December 27, 2021 at age 85 in the company of her loving husband Dennis.
Barb was born to Bue and Catherine Aastrup on March 6, 1936 in Wells, BC – reportedly the first white girl to be born in the hospital there. Her family moved to South Fort George during the war before settling on the family farm in Vernon. Barb chased her dreams and spent much of her life caring for the many animals on the farm where she too eventually settled. She married Gordon and together, they had 2 children: Roderick and Steven.
Throughout her life Barb had many outlets that gave her immense pleasure. Notably, she loved spending time with animals, in particular her horses, dogs and cats. She spent much of her lifetime caring for these pets while also honing her skills in competitive dressage and raising Thoroughbreds. She was a pillar of knowledge and enthusiasm within the horse community in Vernon for many years. Barb was also a talented artist in countless ways; always painting, drawing, writing, sewing, enjoying music, and expressing herself through ongoing planning and design of the beautiful architecture and landscapes that surrounded the homes where she lived. She was a hard worker, a world traveller, an adventurer, a person with a keen and witty sense of humour, and was always striving to better the world in which she and those around her lived. Tirelessly she laboured and sacrificed to care for those she loved – be they animals or people.
Later in life Barb moved briefly to Armstrong, and a few years later moved to the west side of Okanagan Lake where she built her retirement home and planned to quietly enjoy the scenic view for the rest of her life. But then she met Dennis and an exciting new chapter of life began to unfold. They married in 2002, and immediately found “their” dream home in Okanagan Falls, high above Skaha Lake – a place carefully selected to provide them a private sanctuary from which they could always enjoy the beautiful view offered from Heritage Hills.
Barb is predeceased by her father (Bue), mother (Catherine), and her dear brothers Ivan and John. She is survived by her husband Dennis, her sons Rod and Steve (Melissa), as well as her grandchildren, Katalina, Alexis and Colin, and great grand-daughter Mackenzie.
Barb/Mom/Grandma, we want to thank you for all the wonderful memories. And trust us, we are all going to miss you so much!
In lieu of flowers a donation in Barb's memory to an SPCA of your choice would be much appreciated. A celebration of life will be held in Vernon at a time when weather and travel restrictions are eased due to the pandemic.
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