1913 – 2006
Ruth Evelyn Barnett (nee: Pidcock) died peacefully on February 23, 2006 at Sunshine Lodge in Campbell River. Ruth was born in Victoria on November 30, 1913. She is survived by her daughter Nancy Bosomworth and grandsons Allan and Shane of Vancouver; her son Paul and his partner Shelly Hollingshead of Black Creek; and her sister Bernice Milligan (Frank) of Victoria. Ruth was predeceased in 2003 by her husband Tom Barnett, former MP for Comox-Alberni and Mayor of Campbell River.
A member of the pioneering Pidcock family who settled in the Comox Valley and on Quadra Island in the 1860’s, Ruth was the eldest of three daughters of Magistrate George and Eleanor Pidcock. She was raised in the Comox Valley and educated at Victoria Normal School and, later in life at the University of BC she obtained a degree in history. One of Ruth’s proudest accomplishments was researching and writing The Pidcock Family History. Ruth taught for a number of years in the Comox Valley, Prince George, Wells and Port Alberni.
An activist for political, social and environmental causes, Ruth devoted her skills, time and energy to the communities she lived in. She was an honorary life member of the New Democratic Party of BC and worked tirelessly for both the CCF and NDP over a 50 year period. Ruth served as President of the Alberni Valley Soroptomist Club, the Parliamentary Wives Association in Ottawa, the Campbell River Historical Society and the BC Historical Association. She was a founding member and President of the Mitlenatch Field Naturalist Society and was honoured with a club service award by the Federation of BC Naturalists in 1982. In 1990 she was given the Campbell River University Women’s Clubs Woman of the Year award. Ruth lobbied on behalf of seniors for the Committee for the Promotion of Healthy Aging and wrote a regular column in the Campbell River Courier called “The Third Age”.
One of Ruth and Tom’s retirement projects in Campbell River was the creation of a beautiful garden at their home on Pinecrest Road. Ruth’s background in research and Latin allowed for interesting and informative conversations on plants, especially native plants, that were incorporated into their garden. Her knowledge was bountiful as were the plants she grew. She generously shared both with all who cared to ask or express interest.
Ruth, described as a ‘woman of consequence’ by a reporter enumerating her many accomplishments, committed herself to causes that strived to make the world a better place for people, plants, birds and animals. Her efforts were indefatigable – the results benefiting many.
The family would like to thank the staff of Sunshine Lodge, ‘We Care’ and Dr. Smit and Dr. Wood for their compassionate care of Ruth. At Ruth’s request there will be no service. In lieu of flowers, donations, if desired, can be made to the Campbell River Museum. A tea party in Ruth’s memory will be held on Monday, March 6th, 2:30 pm, at the Campbell River & District Public Art Gallery.