Lorna May Barnhardt (nee Austin)

Lorna May Barnhardt (nee Austin)

Lorna, the longest-glowing light of our lives, died at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops on May 8th. She was ninety-five. The daughter of North Shuswap pioneers, Bert and Lulu Austin, in 1920, Lulu travelled from their homestead by carriage, boat, and train to the Salmon Arm Hospital to give birth to Lorna.

Lorna attended the one-room schoolhouse at Magna Bay until, as a teenager she boarded in Kamloops, where she became trained as a secretary at St. Ann’s Academy. These skills led to jobs in Kamloops, Vancouver, and Ottawa, yet even as she stretched her wings her heart remained at Magna Bay. In 1946 Lorna met and married the love of her life, Alan Bertrand Barnhardt, a paratrooper returning from war. They had three children, including a son and twin daughters, and after living in Vancouver for a couple of years they settled on a corner of family property at Magna Bay.

The tragic death of Alan eight years after they were married propelled Lorna back into the workforce, and the family moved to the Agricultural Research Station near Kamloops, where Lorna served as secretary for the research scientists. Twelve years later, with the kids grown and gone, she fulfilled her dream of returning to Magna Bay. There she gained employment as a secretary for Anglemont Estates, where she worked until retirement. She also became active in the Historical Society and contributed stories to the Shuswap Chronicles. Lorna, a life-long nature lover joined the Naturalists and also became a member of St. David’s Church where she volunteered in the downstairs Thrift Shop. At home she loved to garden, cook, knit, read, and play the piano.

Lorna spent her last seven years in Chase, first in a cozy house, followed by her final seven months in assisted living in Parkside, where she continued to light up people’s lives. The family extends a big bouquet of THANK YOU’S to the whole Parkside staff for their wonderful care.

Beautiful both inside and out, Lorna was known for her kindness, her humour, her humility, and her generosity. Family meant everything to her. She will be missed so much by her brother, Don (Ruth), her son, Tom (Carol), daughters, Donna (Rick) and Deanna (Eric), plus grandchildren, Dorian, Tennessee, Isaac, Annonay, Galen, Natalia and Kyle; and great-grandchildren, Wyatt, Rylen, Kale, Kyran, and Rhys, not to mention a myriad of extended family and friends.

A Celebration of Life for Lorna will be held at the North Shuswap Community Hall on the Squilax-Anglemont Road in Celista on September 5th from 1 pm to 5 pm.

Mom, wherever you are, we all hope it’s an easy stroll for the bucket of water you always loved to fetch from Shuswap Lake.


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