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1930 Barbara 2023

Barbara Anne Van Schaik (Daley)

April 21, 1930 — December 23, 2023

Barbara Anne van Schaik

April 21, 1930 – December 23, 2023

Barbara Anne van Schaik (nee Daley) died on Dec. 23, 2023, after a fall that proved one too many. Born Ap. 21, 1930 in Montreal, Canada and immigrating to the United States as a young wife, Barbara is immediately survived by five children: Caroline (Christopher, Minnesota), Bobbie (Chris, Colorado), Claire (Brad, New York), Suzanne (Chris, Colorado), and Peter (Jessica, Connecticut); 13 grandchildren and four great grandchildren; and two close nephews, Jan van Schaik (Michigan) and Paul van Schaik (France). She was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Peter; their infant daughters, Elizabeth Ann and Mary Ann; and her one sibling, Frederick Gerard Daley.

A contributing member of many communities over her 93 years, Barbara started her American life in Indiana and California before taking her young family to Iran and India for her husband’s work with the US Department of Agriculture. Her two youngest children were born overseas. Those years included adventurous travels to Lebanon, Syria, and Israel and gave her lifelong friends across many continents.

Barbara’s own identity included degrees in Plant Pathology (McGill University, Quebec, Canada), Clinical Psychology (California State University), and Psychiatric Rehabilitation (Boston University). She went on to direct the Psychiatric department of Kings View Hospital, Reedley, Ca., pioneered a long term discharge program for psychiatric patients, and taught psychology.

The plant world, though, was always at hand, as a Master Gardener in California and Colorado, and as a Colorado Advanced Master Gardener and Native Plant Master. She took deep pride in being a founding member of the Montrose Botanic Gardens; she served as its first vice president, a Weed Warrior volunteer, a Weed Warrior goodie-baker, and a voice in and for the organization throughout. Native plants, gambol oaks and yucca from seed, grafting, bonsai, coaxing anything to grow, and communing with dear friends striving for botanical perfection marked her best days. At her death, her refrigerator hosted an Enstrom’s box of seed experiments, and her work bench had new pots for lemon tree and date palm seedlings on her windowsill.

Barbara was a faithful member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, relished her days with the Monday Morning Crew at Christ’s Kitchen (forerunner to Shepherd’s Hand), taught many children and adults alike how to swim, led her children’s Brownie troop in Iran, and developed gardens for Hmong immigrants in California. Dogs and Abby the cat were a constant part of her life. Many people will remember her guidance proffered at kitchen tables and in offices alike. Within her family, her legacy includes homemade quilts for every child, grandchild, and great grandchild. The last one, designed by her of all those quilt remnants, will be finished by her daughter, Suzanne.

While many people were a part of our mother’s rich life, the family makes a special acknowledgement of Julie Wetterlund, friend and facilitator of Barbara’s independence these past many years, and to Maria Dolan, whose help arrived just when we needed more. Our appreciation, too, to “Dr. B.” for 30 years of care, and to the kindly floor staffs of Montrose Regional Health Hospital and Colorow Care Center, who cared for us all during those final days.

A funeral Mass will be said at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1855 St. Mary’s Drive, Montrose, on Friday, Ap. 12, 2024, at 10 a.m., followed immediately by a private ceremony. Please join the family at 2 p.m. at the Montrose Botanic Gardens for refreshments. Cremation and funeral arrangements are by Crippin Funeral Home. Donations in Barbara’s honor may be made to the Montrose Botanic Gardens (https://www.montrosegardens.org) or to Shepherd’s Hand (https://www.shepherdshandmontrose.org/ways-to-help).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Anne Van Schaik (Daley), please visit our flower store.

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