May 11, 1931 – March 11, 2014
It is with great sorrow that we announce the peaceful passing of Barbara Ellen Daoust (nee Reed) in the early morning of March 11, 2014. Barb did not enjoy robust health but despite her physical limitations she was strong and determined and she never accepted that something could not be done. When she was 7 Barb was diagnosed with polio and six years later with scoliosis and she had to spend almost a year in a full body cast. She wasn’t supposed to walk again but she did – without any aids at all until the last few years when her family insisted that she use a walker; after all, it was expected of someone in their 80’s! She was told that someone who has had bone fusions to her spine should not have children, but she had six healthy ones: Darcelle (Stan) Cottons, Kate (Tim Christian) Dykstra, Brenda (Vern) Byberg, Richard (Mary) Daoust, Grant (Heather) Daoust and Carolyn (Steven) Tuai.
Her doctors told her that due to her need for oxygen support she should not sing anymore. Despite this advice, Barb loved singing and a few weeks before she died she saw a chorus outside Safeway trying to raise money for a good cause but not getting much attention. While Tweed, her husband of sixty years, went in to shop, Barb joined the chorus and sang with them.
Barb took great delight in telling us how much extra money they collected as a result of Barb taking over as the lead singer.
Barb and Tweed met, fell in love, and married in Trail and remained there until their 5th child was born in 1960. In 1975 they returned to Trail where Barb took up teaching kindergarten and then spent many years in the profession she came to love, at both Central and Fruitvale Elementary. In the evenings she sang her heart out as a member of the Rossland Light Opera Players. Barb and Tweed made many close friends in Trail and missed them terribly when they moved to Vancouver in 1986.
Barbara was a loving woman who was proud of her children and delighted in their
achievements. And she thoroughly enjoyed and adored her grandchildren and great
Though Barb was frail she had a powerful and positive personality. She possessed a great wit and had a genuine affection for people. Her easy and kindly manner of speaking to those she encountered drew them to her magnetically.
Barb loved to sing and we will never forget her pitch-perfect rendition of “Danny Boy” at the memorial service for her brother two years ago. She practiced carefully in advance and though her voice was not strong her careful phrasing brought tears to many eyes. She was so determined to do it perfectly, and she did, and she was very happy afterwards.
Barb’s son, Grant, heard his Mom singing before she fell asleep for the last time, inspired by song till the end.