Barbara  Van Ast's Memorial

Barbara Van Ast
(1945 - 2011)


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General Details

Name: Mrs Barbara Van Ast
Nick Name: Bunny
Maiden Name: DuVall
Gender: Female
Age: 66 years old
Lived: Friday, 4 May 1945 - Tuesday, 9 August 2011

My Story

  Barbara was born Barbara Ellen Du Vall on May 4th, 1945 in Newmarket, Ontario.  As a child she excelled at swimming and was a lifeguard and swimming instructor when she was a teenager.   She also was an excellent figure skating.  Her nickname "Bunny" was given to her at an early age as she loved to jump and hop all over the ice when she was figure skating. The name has stuck with her for her entire life and most of you know her fondly as Bunny.  She spent the majority of her summers at the family cottage on Haliburton lake where she excelled at water skiing, canoeing, boating and sailing.  When she became a teenager she worked at the store on Haliburton Lake and taught swimming lessons at the public beach.  
   After graduating from high school with honours,  she completed a 3 year Registered Nursing program graduating in 1967. She worked as an R.N. at York County hospital in Newmarket. Through mutual friends she met Ron Van Ast and they quickly fell in love.  They were married on September 12, 1969.  They lived in the Newmarket area for several years and had a baby girl together on November 6, 1972.  They named her Heidi. 
   Ron and Bunny wanted to live in the country and out of the busy city so they moved east of Peterborough to a century home just north of the town of Keene.  Bunny was hired by Peterborough Civic Hospital and worked there as a an R.N. and Ron began working for Sears as a Security Manager.  Four years later in 1978, while Bunny was pregnant with their son, they moved again to a working dairy farm that was just west of Norwood.  Ron and Bunny became Dairy farmers while Bunny continued to work at the hospital as a nurse.  Matthew Roeland was born on May 29, 1978.

  They operated the Dairy farm until 1992 and then moved to Bridgenorth to a property next to Pigeon Lake.  Bunny worked in several different departments of the hospital including the Emergency and Labour and Delivery units.   In 2001, Ron and Bunny settled just outside of the town of Bobcaygeon where they enjoyed being close to nature on a large forest property.  

  Bunny's spirituality was inspired by nature and she always noticed and appreciated the 'little things' in life.  She found peace enjoying the beauty of their forest property.  She cared deeply for and was always concerned about family and friends.  Her loss cannot be put into words and she is missed so much already.... The following poem suits her as she believed in the afterlife and was very connected to nature.

Do not stand by my grave and weep, 
I am not there.  I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sun on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.



Latest Tributes

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Memory Memorial Tribute
From: HeidiHyland
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This memory is from Marg Mitchell I have had the honour to know Bunny since 1954. My summers certainly would have...
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: HeidiHyland
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Memory continued from Marg Mitchell. Our friendship continued into our teen years when we all went our separate ...
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: HeidiHyland
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When we think of Bunny, we remember mostly the good times. Unfortuntely, the last few years had not been kind to her...
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: HeidiHyland
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We also remember when Bunny and Ron moved into that farm and we were all sitting around in the kitchen. We thought...


Fathers Name: Douglas Rea Duvall
Mothers Name: Dorothy Hewitt
Spouse's Name: Ron Van Ast
Children's Names: Heidi and Matthew
Siblings Names: Only child
Country of Birth: Canada
Occupation: Healthcare & Medical
Marital Status: Married


Favourite Sport: Canoeing
Favourite Book: anything by Jean M. Auel
Favourite Movie: Secretariat
Favourite Music Genre: Pop
Favourite Artist: various
Favourite Charity: Cancer society
Other Interests:
photography, reading, crocheting, ceramics,gardening, scrapbooking, knitting.


Place of Passing: Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay
Date of Passing: 9 August 2011
Cause of Passing: Cancer
Type of Funeral: Private Memorial
Place of Burial: N/A
Funeral Location: 1285 Concession 6, Sunderland
Funeral Date: 4 September 2011
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