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Barbara Joan Penkwitz


July 17, 1949

Belleville, Ontario


December 4, 2023

Sarnia, Ontario


Barbara Joan Penkwitz, (nee Barnhardt)

Born July 17, 1949. On December 4, 2023, Barb passed away peacefully at Bluewater Health surrounded by 3 of her children, their partners and her grand-pug. She leaves behind her daughter, Heather Little (Mait), and sons Robert Little, Brent White and Brian White (Jessi). She is also survived by her 7 grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, siblings Lynn and Wayne and her grand-pug, Loki. She is predeceased by the love of her life, Neil, her parents, Shirley and David Barnhardt along with her sisters Constance, Bonnie and Delana.

Barb was a cancer survivor for many years, but in her words, “this time it got me.” She also survived many other adversities in her life. Born into extreme poverty, by the time she became a single mom to her two youngest children, she did so without financial assistance from any family or agency. She was proud of this accomplishment. But life was challenging all along the way. Yet, she persevered to the best of her ability. She truly was her own person.

She had many close friends. She created relationships with strangers along her path, making meaningful connections with folks most people would overlook. She was a helper. It wasn’t unusual for her son, Brian, to come home for a holiday meal, only to meet someone new, who Barb didn’t want to see spend the holiday alone. She also had a very blunt and upfront nature about her, which pushed the boundaries towards discomfort. Accompanying this was her dark and sharp sense of humour, which she displayed right down to her final moments, when she “fired” her doctor an hour before passing.

Families are complicated. She had unique relationships with her 4 children. She loved them all dearly and took great pride in them. And although at times there was distance between them all, there always remained a bond and a desire to reconnect. She took great comfort in knowing that 3 of her children have come closer together during these final months.

Her children wish to express their sincere gratitude to Doctors Crombeen, McSweeney and the entire Palliative Care Clinic team, along with the teams in Palliative Care and the Cancer Clinic at Bluewater Health, and the team of her “former Doctor,” Dr. O’Mahony.

Cremation has taken place.

Family and friends will be received at the McCormack Funeral Home, 254 George Street (at College Avenue) in Sarnia for visitation on Sunday December 10 from 1-3 pm.

Remembrances and condolences may be expressed to the family online in “Barbara’s Guestbook” at

Expressions of Sympathy may be made in her memory to The Women’s Interval Home and The Sarnia-Lambton Human Society.

Visitation & Services

McCormack Funeral Home

1 - 3 pm

Sunday December 10


No Services


Resurrection Crematorium


Cheques only please,
will be received at the funeral home


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Family Memories

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To Barb’s Family, On behalf of the Pitts family, we are so sorry to hear of the passing of Barb. She was a dear friend of my Mom, Helen Pitts. Not sure if you would know the name or not. They worked together at Woolco for many years. She was a treasured soul. Had her ups and downs for sure, but always could get a smile or a laugh out of her most times. she will be missed by those who knew her. Sincerely, Valerie Pitts Young
Valerie (Pitts) Young

Sincere condolences to her family. She was quite a lady. I first met Barb at Green Haven Estates as a neighbour. I hadn’t seen her for a few years and then we met again at Wellington Flats. RIP Barb
Kathy Harris

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