Marion Barrett (née Bricker), BA’40

Born in 1919, Marion died on March 30, 2012. Marion grew up in Vancouver, the only child of Joseph and Rosa Bricker. At UBC, she majored in zoology with botany and was taught by Professor George Spencer (founder of the Spencer Entomological Collection at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum).

She trained as an orthoptist in Toronto and in 1942 joined the RCAF as an officer in that role. In 1943 she met Joseph Paddy Barrett, an Irish pilot in the RAF, while he was briefly stationed in Toronto. After their three-year wartime courtship by correspondence, Marion flew to England in 1946 where they were married. An English newspaper reported: “Bride flies six thousand miles to wed.”

Joseph had joined the expanding post-war Aer Lingus Irish Airlines, and the young couple set up their first home in Dublin. The winter
of 1946-47 was one of the worst on record, and
it was Marion’s first experience of living in houses without central heating during widespread fuel shortages.

In 1954 Marion represented UBC at University College Dublin’s Centenary celebrations. When her three children were in their teens, Marion resumed her career as an orthoptist, working part-time at the Royal Victoria Eye & Ear Hospital and Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin. Marion loved her adopted country and knew it like the back of her hand. Her wide interests, shared with many friends, included botany and gardening, archaeology, travel, bird-watching, golf and bridge. She was an active member of many societies, including the Dublin University Women Graduates Association.

A proud grandmother of two, Marion was widowed in 1998. She remained forever young at heart, up for new adventures and experiences, and always maintained she had led a charmed life. Hers was certainly a long life lived to the fullest, for which we give thanks.