Tribute to Dr Barz

Dr Hermine Barz

Dr. Hermine Barz was born in Germany in 1923 but when she was still a child her family emigrated to America. They lived there for some time before returning to Germany. As an adult she moved permanently to England to take up a teaching post.

Hermine's greatest passion in life has been teaching languages. She is well educated herself with two PhD's. She has taught and helped numerous people, without charging any fee. She took a Vietnamese family under her wings, gave the children private tuition in languages and helped them in many ways to adapt to a life in England. All the three children went to University and obtained good degrees, and one of them graduating from Oxford University.

She loved to tell stories and had an extensive knowledge of literature, music and the classics. She enjoyed doing crosswords, reading, singing in her church choir, embroidery, taking her dogs for walks and visiting Zoos with young children.

Her love for animals is absolutely astounding. She always had several pets, often they were strays, unwanted pets, or adopted from the RSPCA. Many of her animals had unhappy lives before coming to her, but despite the problems she loved, cared, talked to them and gave them a wonderful life.

Dr Barz is a Christian and the way she has lived her life is a true testament to her faith. She never tried to convert anyone but taught others to respect Christianity. She herself respected other faiths and was always keen to learn about them.

She is the most amazing, kind and generous person one can know and who her closest friends feel blessed to have in their lives. She is very special and unique to her friends, who find it upsetting and hard to accept how much Alzheimer's has affected her and changed her life. Someone who had been full of life, energy and kindness had in such a short space of time become a lost, lonely and helpless person, who felt she had been abandoned by her parents. Even though Alzheimer's has taken its toll on her she is still the same person and will always be our friend, except that now she needs the right sort of nurturing environment and support.