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Williamson, Barbara Banker (Died on 7 Feb 2007)
appeared in Oakville Beaver, 14 Feb 2007, p. 34

Full Text

WILLIAMSON, BARBARA Banker- beloved wife, step-mother, sister, horsewoman, community volunteer and friend, passed away suddenly while riding her horse, on Wednesday February 7, 2007 in Oakville, Ontario. She was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 26, 1951 to Dr. Robert and Mrs. Marilyn Banker. Raised in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Barbara graduated with honors from Lincoln High School. After high school she attended Miami of Ohio University and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Barbara taught middle school English in Schofield, Wisconsin for two years then moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma following her first marriage. She attended the University of Tulsa earning a Masters Degree in Education then teaching at the Tulsa Job Corps Center for several years. She went on to earn her Doctor of Law degree at the University of Tulsa School of Law in 1982. After practicing law at Conner and Winters Law Firm in Tulsa from 1983-1988, Barbara moved to Lake Elmo, Minnesota where she made partner at the Minneapolis office of the international law firm Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly. She practiced as a Partner in the firm's commercial banking group. Subsequently, she became a member of the law department of First Bank System (now US Bancorp) supporting the commercial practice of the large public financial holding company. Barbara ended her Minnesota law career at Residential Funding Corporation (now Residential Capital LLC), a leading diversified real estate finance company. As a member of the law department she provided legal services to the largest interim funder of mortgage loans in the United States. Barbara, of course, endured the running joke set up by her last name. During these years Barbara was an avid scuba diver, completing her Master Scuba Diver training and traveling frequently to exotic locations to swim among sting rays and rare coral reefs. A dedicated and talented creative writer Barbara attended writing classes and retreats to hone her short story and poetry writing skills. During her time in Minnesota, Barbara bought her first two thoroughbred horses, Red and Rexx, and began the passionate pursuit of dressage. In 2000, Barbara became reacquainted with an old Tulsa friend, Steve Williamson who resided in Oakville, Ontario. They married on February 24, 2001, and Barbara moved to Oakville where she became step-mother to Steve's three adult and two teenage children. Barbara gave up the practice of law, focusing her energy on growing together with her new family and building a life in Oakville. Barbara was able to become "Mom" to all her stepchildren, whom she dearly loved. She also became involved in the May Court Club of Oakville. She was particularly active in the Club's "Nearly New Shop" which was one of the Club's primary fund raising activities for charities. Starting as a shift supervisor, Barbara rose to the position of Shop Director, and, ultimately, Finance Director for the shop. At the same time, Barbara grew her animal "family" to four horses and four cats. She acquired two more horses, Fragonard and Tucker, both specifically bred for dressage work. Her older horse, Rexx, decided he was going to be a "hunter jumper" horse and put his heart, and Barbara's efforts, into it. All of these activities created a whole new circle of friend's for Barbara, as well as a few broken bones, cuts and bruises. Finally, Barbara and her adored husband Steve enjoyed ballroom dancing, enrolling in regular lessons at the local Fred Astaire Studio (now the Keep On Dancing Studio), as well as competing at several annual regional events--winning Top Amateur Couple at the last competition. As with many things in their life together, the point was not the competition, but having fun with friends, and, especially, laughter. Barbara brought that spirit to all of her relationships and associations. She touched people in a special way; she cared about those around her (both her two-legged and four-legged friends) and infused all she did with a spirit of adventure and determination. Barbara was deeply loved and will be sorely missed by many, including her husband Steve; her step-children Robert and Tom, Astrid van den Berg, Katherine and David; her grand-child Lucius van den Berg; her brother and sisters Robert Banker (Dianne) of Midland, Virginia, Judith Banker (John Sayler) of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Pamela Banker of Sister Bay, Wisconsin, and Lori Banker-Horner (James) of Greenfield, Wisconsin; her uncle Dale Lange of Manitowoc, Wisconsin; her nephews and niece Rob, Eric, Ben, Dan, Julia and Billy; her stepsisters and stepbrothers, and their spouses and children; and other family members. Barbara was preceded in death by her father and mother and stepfather Arthur Zuehlke. Visitation will be from 7 to 9pm on Friday February 16, at Ward Funeral Home, 109 Reynolds St., Oakville. There will be a private family funeral service on Saturday morning, followed by a Remembrance service open to all of her friends and family from 2 to 5pm at the Atrium, 5420 North Service rd., Burlington. Memorial donations can be made to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada or the May Court Scholarship Fund, Oakville. The family invites friends and relatives to sign Barbara's Book of Condolence at barbara.williamson@wardfh.com.

Media Type:
Genealogical Resource
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
14 Feb 2007
Date Of Event:
7 Feb 2007
Last Name(s):
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.4473682625124 Longitude: -79.6665048808289
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Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Williamson, Barbara Banker (Died on 7 Feb 2007)