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Barbara Stuart

Barbara Stuart

Barbara Ann Stuart passed away at her home in Eugene, Oregon on September 20th, 2015. *** Barbara was born on May 20th, 1949 in Corpus Christi Texas. She graduated as a registered nurse in 1973, and completed a Master’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Portland in 1991. Over decades as a dedicated nurse Barbara worked in multiple roles, including as a home health nurse, an assistant professor of nursing, and for wonderful organizations that care for the severely disabled. Her stories of patient care, ranging from her work in ‘the projects’ in New Orleans to taking care of premature infants on a hospital ward, are tales that will be passed down through our family and amongst those who knew her. *** In 1974 she married Bryan Stuart after they met dealing cards at Harrah’s casino in Reno, as they both worked their way through degrees at the University of Nevada. After stints in Louisiana, Hawaii and California, the couple eventually settled in Oregon, where Barbara lived the last 36 years of her life. Bryan and Barbara were separated in the late 1980s, although they remained friends for life, as well as committed, loving parents to their two daughters Catherine and Jill. *** An avid traveller, Barbara cherished her memories of trips to the likes of Costa Rica, England, Vietnam and particularly China. A highlight of her life was a four month around the world trip with the floating university Semester at Sea in 2001. She read voraciously and loved to talk about anything from international politics to technology, culture, medicine, and current affairs. Art was a particular intrigue for her, and she found the stories behind the works of the likes of Klimt and Degas fascinating. Her insatiable interest in the world around us meant she was a constant learner and consumer of information; a true lifelong student and lover of knowledge. *** A real-life Dr Doolittle, Barbara loved animals of every fur or feather. From her first pet parakeet Peachy as a child, to her beloved dogs and cats later in life, to the ducks and geese that she fed on her lakeside patio in her final home, she offered kindness to (and received comfort from), all range of creatures. For many years she volunteered at the Audubon Society, and was the type to carefully escort a spider trapped in the bathtub safely to a tree outside. *** Alongside her contagious laugh, fun-loving nature, and outgoing character, Barbara also conversely struggled for many years with depression, as well as pain from a body that was starting to fail her far too young. A few months before she took her own life, she wrote a diary entry saying that, “I have had a great life with few regrets. I have been very lucky. 66 Years is a long time.” All those of us who care about her feel her life should have lasted far longer, and wish she could have received effective treatment with a very different outcome. However we hope that her suicide will help raise awareness and bring into light conversations about mental illness. *** Barbara is survived by her two daughters, Jill Stuart and Catherine Cherry, who would like to thank everyone who has helped them cope through this difficult time. *** We welcome everyone who knew Barbara to share their thoughts on this obituary, which will also serve as an ongoing memorial service dedicated to her memory.

Don and Beth Forrester:

Barbara and Bryan were close friends of ours in Sacramento during Bryan and Don's Family Medicine residency program. We only learned about her death this month... May 2017. She was a very special person. I have been unable to locate Bryan, Jill or Katie to offer our condolences.

Bryan Stuart:

She was an awesome lady. She will be sorrowfully missed.

Elizabeth Jagla:

A dear friend who loved the color red, lit up a room when she walked in, had an infectious laugh and was always ready to help and give you a hug if you needed it.

Jill Stuart:

I love and miss my mom... but know she is with me every day. She comes along with me on my boring commute, she sits in on meetings, she goes on my dates! Her spirit is far too strong to have left when she took her own life. It lives on.

Gary Wallace:

Barbara holds a special place in my heart. I only knew her as a teenager but she was my first love. She was the girl next door. We spent hours sitting on the fence that separated our two apartment buildings talking about what little we knew of life. But then our lives went in different directions. I graduated from high school, joined the Marines and went off to war. She went on to college and pursed her career. I never saw her again but did talk with her once on the phone several years ago. We made plans to see each other but life and then death got in the way. I never had the pleasure of knowing her as an adult but I will never forget my first love.

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