The family of Barbara McGowan (nee Johnston) sadly
share the news of her recent passing. Barbara was born
in Quesnel in 1930, into the pioneering Johnston family
of the Cariboo. Barbara and her brother Bill moved with
their parents to Wells when their father took a job at
the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine. Barbara was an avid
skier and badminton player during those early years,
and she always spoke fondly of her childhood in Wells.
Barbara met her future husband Bill McGowan in high
school, and they graduated together from the Wells
High School Class of 1948. Barbara then attended the
St. Paul’s Hospital School of Nursing in Vancouver, and
graduated in 1953. Barbara and Bill married later that
year, and then moved to Hazelton to open the Up To
Date Store and to begin their life together. Their fi ve
children were born in Hazelton, and they were both
very involved in the community.
In 1978 Barbara moved to Smithers, where she lived
until 2013 when she moved to Kelowna. She passed
away peacefully with family by her side on September
Barbara was predeceased by her fi rst husband Bill
McGowan, her second husband Jim Hutter, her brother
Bill Johnston, her son Michael McGowan, and her
daughter Heather Couturier. She is survived by her
son Bill McGowan (Loree), her daughter Catherine
McGowan, and her daughter Margaret Olmstead (Dan),
as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
We remember our mother as incredibly strong, talented,
independent, accomplished, and full of that pioneering
A Celebration of Life will be held next summer when all
of our family can be together.