Isle of Muck History

Last Updated 13th Mar 2021

All pages and pictures © Anne M White 2001-2021

Obituary for Jessie Violet (Val) Barber (nee Stewart)

Jessie Violet (Val) Barber (nee Stewart) Ė aged 91.5 years Born May 30, 1929 and sadly passed away after a short illness on December 27th 2020 at her home in Whitianga, New Zealand.

Jessie (known all her married life as Val) was the youngest daughter of the late Angus Stewart and Marion Isabella Stewart (nee Mclachlan) The Stewart family lived on the Island of Muck from 1922 to 1932 and moved to the Island of Mull in 1933. They later moved to Fasnacloich until the death of Angus Stewart in 1945. Jessie (Val) was the much-loved youngest sister of Morag (Marion), Margaret (Peggy), Isabella and Chrissy (Christine). Aunty of Roderick and Isabel MacDonald.

Jessie (Val) is Survived by her dearly loved husband, of 63 years, Bernard Barber (NZ)

She was the adored and much-loved mother of Suzie Mcdonald (Australia) and Beverley Calder (New Zealand).

Proud and cherished Grandmother of Harry, Jack, Henry (Australia) and Daisy (NZ) and their partners Anna, Sarah, Tess and AJ.

Cherished Great Grandmother of Arlo, Addie (Australia) and Lennox (NZ)

It is with great sadness that I write this obituary for my beautiful mother Jessie (Val) Barber (nee Stewart). The bravest little girl I had the privilege to call my mother and my friend.

My mother was still at home and still as sharp as ever, orchestrating her passing after being given a terminal diagnosis out of the blue on October 11th 2020. Mum remained a true Scot, bold, brave, stubborn, prudent, moral and courageous right until her last day.

She was an extraordinary woman who showed great kindness, generosity and patience throughout her life to her family and friends, to strangers and to those less fortunate than herself.

She was spontaneous, fun loving, an incredible cook and extremely adventurous which took her all over the world. She had been a Sergeant in the British Army, typed up the battle of Eretria in 1940 (which didnít happen) whilst working in Ismailia, in Egypt. She lived through the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya while she slept with a machete under her pillow and was still as good as anyone I know on her Macbook, Imac, Ipad and Iphone at 91 and a half.

I had the blessing to spend the latter part of 2020 doing mums Ancestry with her via Facetime and reconnecting her with so many beautiful Scottish people from her childhood. I would like to thank the wonderful John Campbell who gave so freely of his time to make a family tree and to help mum and I find all those people. Mum and I had so many long Whatsapp video calls with John and he supported mum and I right till the end. I will forever be eternally grateful to him for his unwavering kindness and generosity.

Thank you to Donald Mackinnon for connecting me in the first place with John Campbell after I randomly found one tiny photo online of Angus Stewart and trolled Facebook until I found someone I thought may have known Angus.

Thank you to Duncan Ferguson who so kindly went and photographed mumís parents grave in Appin Cemetery.

Thank you to Ewan Henderson for making the most beautiful personalised bagpipe video for mum in such a hurry when we were originally told she would be lucky to survive another 2 weeks.

Thank you to Catriona White who brought so much joy to mum via emails recounting the old days and for her ongoing support to me since mumís passing. Thank you to Anne her daughter for passing on the many videos I made with mum in return for Catriona.

Thank you to Lawrence MacEwen and Ruth MacEwen for taking the time to make the most beautiful Christmas video for mum of her family home, Gallanach cottage, on the Island of Muck. Mum wept all the way through the video on Christmas day 2020 and passed away 48 hours later. She had finally gone ďhomeĒ to Muck which she had always longed to do.


All communications to Suzie Mcdonald (Australia)