Obituary: Mrs Barbara Stevens (formerly Kearle), of North Wootton and Pilton
Barbara Stevens grew up on a farm in Lancashire and lived her life in the countryside of Somerset.
Mrs Stevens was born in Manchester, the youngest of four children, and grew up on a farm on the outskirts of the city. The family lived there until Barbara was in her teens before moving to the South West.
Barbara met her first husband, Dan Kearle, at a New Year's Eve dance in Taunton in 1957. They married and moved to Pilton in 1959, living with Barbara's parents before moving to Elm Farm in 1962.
Barbara and Dan had eight children, four boys and four girls.
Barbara had a menagerie of animals including ponies and dogs.
Barbara enjoyed music and dancing and was a keen supporter of the Glastonbury festival, attending with her children and grandchildren until her health declined.
She was an active member of Pilton church and was for a time a member of the PCC. She also belonged to the Mothers' Union and WI in Pilton.
She worked for many years at Shepton Mallet Community Hospital, receiving a long-service award. She supported the midwives and health visitors and was known to many families in the area.
In October 2003 on a parish pilgrimage to Iona she met John Stevens. They married at Dinder church in 2005 and moved to North Wootton.
Barbara had suffered from a degenerative nerve disorder for years and, about a year ago, her condition deteriorated.
Barbara never lost her Lancashire accent and will be remembered for her ready smile, 'northern' friendliness, kindness and sense of humour.
She was a much-loved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother who is greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
A thanksgiving service, conducted by the Prebendary David Osborne at Pilton Parish Church on August 20, was organised by Barbara in the last months of her illness as a celebration of her life.