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Barb Jewers leaves lasting legacy on community health care

Barb Jewers will always be remembered for her incredible commitment to our region. She was a true community and philanthropic leader generously giving her time and resources to many causes throughout Wood Buffalo. She left a lasting legacy many can aspire to and was a true champion of a healthy, thriving community.

Born in Halifax and raised in the small rural community of Hubbards, N.S., Barb was passionate about education having received degrees from the Technical University of Nova Scotia, Acadia University and the University of Alberta.

Moving to Fort McMurray in 1990, Barb led a successful 23 year career with Syncrude Canada Ltd.

“She worked with Syncrude in various capacities throughout her career, starting as an Engineer in Mine Planning and moving on to various leadership, planning and management positions,” says Cliff Dimm, Barb’s close friend and longtime colleague at Syncrude. “At the time of her passing, she acted as Manager for Tailings and Lease Development.”

According to Cliff, Barb truly considered Fort McMurray home and loved the people of this community.

“The people she met became what she called her ‘framily.’ These were special people in Barb’s life who became her family in Fort McMurray,” he says.

In addition to her working life, Barb kept busy participating many hobbies and interests.
“She was heavily involved in sports like soccer, volleyball and tennis for several years,” says Cliff. “She became very passionate about travel later in life, having visited to over 30 countries including many areas of Europe and Southeast Asia.”

“She enjoyed Viking River Cruises and often travelled to Las Vegas with a group of her girlfriends,” he says. “She also loved travelling to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, having visited about eighty sites in her lifetime. Prior to her illness, she was actually planning to drive through the U.S. and stop at an additional 30 to 40 UNESCO sites she hadn’t been to yet.”

“Another one of Barb’s interests was photography. She was an avid member of the Fort McMurray Photography Club and participated in many online photography contests, winning over ten amateur contests and over eleven contests in advanced categories,” says Cliff.

Barb also devoted much of her time to volunteering throughout the community for a number of organizations.

According to Cliff, Barb’s enthusiasm for volunteering was driven by her desire to give back to the community she cherished.

“She was so proud to call Fort McMurray home and wanted to give back. She had this desire to show people how great our community is and to prove that it’s not the place people often think it is,” he says. “She also loved volunteering because it was a great social activity. She formed many incredible friendships through her experiences.”
Barb dedicated much of her time to the United Way of Fort McMurray, and acted as their President at the time of her passing.

“She enjoyed not only giving her time but delivering on things that made a lasting difference on our community’s wellbeing, such as assisting with the United Way’s accreditation process. She also enjoyed engaging others and making them excited to get out and make a difference in our community.”

Sadly in 2013, Barb became terminally ill and received care on the Palliative Care Unit of the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.
“As part of the group of close family and friends to Barb – her “Framily” – my wife and I, and a handful of others were part of a rotating 24/7 support, at the hospital sitting with Barb during her terminal diagnosis,” says Cliff. “The staff couldn’t have been more supportive and helpful to us in our grief.”

This support made an impact on Barb when she was considering what she wanted to do with her estate.

“When she became ill, she received all of her tests in one day making the process much easier on Barb. She felt the people and the support she had at the hospital was fantastic,” he says.

As a result of the exceptional care she received, Barb graciously bestowed $50,000 in her will to the Health Foundation.

“Fort McMurray was Barb’s home, and she wanted to make a meaningful difference on the health and wellness of the people living in this community,” Cliff says.

Leaving a legacy to the Health Foundation is a wonderful way to ensure the continued health and wellness of those living in our community for generations to come.

Read more information on leaving a legacy with the Northern Lights Health Foundation, here.


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