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On September 10, 1941, Kay and Joe O’Shaughnessy’s second daughter, Barbara Anne, entered the world too early. In fact, she was born just 11 months after their first-born, Marilyn. The doctor wrapped her up and put her into a bread pan, which he set on the open oven door to keep her warm, as was commonplace with home births in the 1940s. The tiny baby was not expected to survive, but survive, she did.
Barbara always knew she wanted to became a nurse. She worked hard, saved her money, and put herself through nursing school. She then accepted a position at Sudbury General Hospital (Sudbury, Ontario), where she worked for over two decades before she and her family moved briefly to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, and then to sunny Kissimmee, Florida. Barb loved living in Florida and she took pride in her little house and her garden. She also continued nursing for another 20-plus years. “Endo Barb” helped open the endocscopy unit at Kissimmee Memorial Hospital, which later became Florida Hospital Kissimmee.
It wasn’t until her sixth cancer diagnosis caused her to retire that Barb ended her nursing career. Barb was not expected to live more than six months at that time; she fooled the doctors once again, and survived for 13 more years until her 7th cancer diagnosis, followed by a fall during which she broke her hip. She died peacefully on March 28th, 2017, where she spent a great deal of her life — in an operating room.
Barbara raised two wonderful, loving daughters: Donna Baillie (Kissimmee, FL) and Wendy Bisson (Canton, OH); and a third daughter, Karen Vincent (British Columbia, Canada). Barb adored her grandchildren: John Bisson (friend Maggie), Emily Baillie, Christopher Baillie, and Kathleen Petro; and she cherished the little time she had with granddaughters Allyssa, Brandi and Celina Vincent before they were taken away from her. She will also be missed by her “adopted” daughter Angela Casera, grandchildren Ashleigh Diaz, Kali Rybinski and Adrienne Cruz and great-granddaughter Amber. Barb also cherished her time with her faithful furry companion, Tiki.
Predeceased by her adored parents Kathleen and Joseph O’Shaughnessy; her older sister and best friend Marilyn French; and her brothers-in-law Keith Millington and Brian French, Barb is also survived by her younger sister Joanne Evraire (husband Jim) of Deep River, Ontario; her “baby” brother Donald O’Shaughnessy (wife Collette) of Kentucky; brothers-in-law Jim (wife Jeanette) of Sudbury, Ontario and Frank Bisson (Mary Jane, predeceased) of Elliot Lake, Ontario; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins across Canada.
Special thanks to Barb’s good friend James Weller (“Pops” to us) for being there for all of us over the past several years and treating mom better than our father ever did; neighbor and dear friend Kay Sellers for her friendship; and to Donna Chase, who had worked with mom at Florida Hospital Kissimmee, for being an amazing friend, especially these last few months. Thanks, too, to all the nursing staff at St Cloud Hospital for their kindness.

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Filed Under: Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury