In Memory of




Obituary for Rebecca Catherine Barrett

Rebecca (Becky) Catherine Barrett
1942 - 2024

Rebecca (Becky) Catherine Barrett sadly departed this life on January 26, 2024, at the age of 81 at Riverview Health Center in Winnipeg Manitoba. Born in Pensacola Florida on May 1, 1942, her life was marked by a steadfast dedication to public service, a passion for knowledge, and a heart full of love for her family and friends.

Mourning her absence are her loving daughter Laura Kuypers, adored grandsons Adam and Ian Heck ("The Boys"), son-in-law Marty Heck, sisters Patricia James and Melissa Keller, and stepsister Nancy Leachman Stoller. Preceding Becky in death were her beloved partner David Woodbury; her son Dirk Kuypers, her father Dirk Barrett Sr, her mother Betty Barrett, her brother Dirk Barrett Jr, step sister Susan Leachman Lefferts and her step brothers David Leachman and Richard Leachman.

After attaining her Bachelors Degree in English at the University of Chicago Becky worked as an assistant to California Congressman Ron Dellums. After moving to Winnipeg Manitoba in 1975 Becky attained her Master’s Degree of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. Becky then embarked on a distinguished career with the Manitoba New Democratic Party (NDP) fulfilling many different roles. As the Director of Organizing in the 1980s and a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1990-2003, her tenure included service as critic and then Cabinet Minister where she was entrusted with high profile portfolios such as Civil Service, Manitoba Public Insurance, Workers Compensation Board, Multiculturalism, Labour and Immigration. She left a profound legacy on the Manitoba NDP and the province as a whole. Becky stood by her convictions and believed wholeheartedly in the core values of the labour movement and social justice. She was respected for her strategic acumen as a campaign organizer for both provincial and federal political campaigns. Becky mentored countless people through her work and volunteerism.

Becky's contributions extended beyond the political arena to her personal joys - being a doting grandmother to her grandsons, exploring the world through travel and her openness to new cultures, immersing herself in literature, and generously volunteering her time and energy to various organizations such as the Evergreen Regional Library and local NDP projects/campaigns.

Becky was a loyal and steadfast friend with a quick and wry sense of humour who could always be counted on to be there when you needed her. Becky was a lifelong baseball and football fan who cheered for her favourite teams and against her least favourite teams with equal fervour.

A celebration of life in honour of Becky will be planned later in the year. Details regarding the time and venue will be announced in due course. The family suggests that in place of customary remembrances, contributions be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada as a tribute to Becky's compassionate spirit and lasting impact on the community.

Becky's presence and her positive way in the world will be profoundly missed, and her memory will be treasured, not only by her family, but also by the many people she touched. Her extraordinary legacy and passion for social justice will continue to guide and inspire.