Tauranga's Barbara Joy Rowe was a "vibrant, very busy, and a selfless" giver to others less fortunate.

That is how her grieving family and a close friend will remember Mrs Rowe, who will be farewelled at a funeral service today.

The 76-year-old, who has held many different hats and juggled many voluntary positions in the Tauranga community and beyond, died on Saturday after being struck by a car on Devonport Rd near 1st Ave on Friday. She was crossing the road to collect her car from the AA Service Centre at the time.

Barbara Joy Rowe died on Saturday after being hit by a car on Devonport Rd on Friday. Photo/George Novak
Barbara Joy Rowe died on Saturday after being hit by a car on Devonport Rd on Friday. Photo/George Novak

Mrs Rowe's funeral will be held at St George's Anglican Church from 1pm today, followed by a private cremation.


Peter Rowe told the Bay of Plenty Times his step-mother's death had come as a huge shock to him, his sister Beverley Cotton and the rest of their family.

"Barbara was a very vibrant person, who went out of her way to help others less fortunate in a multitude of ways. She was a very, busy woman in that regard," he said.

She had strong morals and values and believed in people being self-reliant and taking personal responsibility for their own actions.

"If people had half the amount of morals that Barbara had and lived by, we would not have some of the problems we do have in the community," Rowe said.

"Barbara was selfless to the core and we will all miss her so much."

Born in Wellington on March 31, 1941, Mrs Rowe, nee Cameron, is survived by her brothers Duncan and Ken, and her three grandchildren.

From tennis representative and hockey coach to Girl Guides' leader, teaching English and music, and her volunteer services abroad, Mrs Rowe was not one to sit idle for long.

After graduating from Wellington Teachers College in 1963, she taught at a primary school in Horowhenua followed by two stints at Bohally Intermediate in Blenheim.

That was followed by two Volunteer Service Abroad trips, the first as head mistress at a multi-racial school for girls in Fiji from 1966-1967, then to Vanuatu in 1972-1973 where she taught English to adult students.

Mrs Rowe moved to the Bay in 1973, teaching at Tauranga Girls' College, Tauranga Intermediate, and Omanu School.

In 1975 she joined the Tauranga Hockey Association and coached various age group players and was made a life member in 1987.

Mrs Rowe married Peter's late father Dr Rod Rowe in April 1980 and the couple lived in Maungatapu Rd. Dr Rowe, whose joint practice was in Cameron Rd, died in 1988.

In 1980 she was named junior champion at Omanu Golf Club.

During her longstanding involvement in the Girl Guides' movement, she held a raft of administration roles, including District Commissioner of Tauranga-Gate Pa District.

In early 1989 she became volunteer welfare manager for the Tauranga-Western Bay of Plenty's civil defence management group, one she held for eight years.

Between 1995 and 2010 Mrs Rowe was recognised for her volunteer services to Guiding, Hockey and Civil Defence, including a national distinction for her civil defence work.

Rowe said his step-mother, who was prolific reader, knitter, sewer and lifelong learner with a deep faith in God, was selfless to the core.

Close friend and fellow Tauranga Guiding Lights' group member Carole Lindsay who had known Mrs Rowe since 1980, agreed.

"I still can't believe Barbara is gone. She was a busy, busy person who would help anybody. She was a great friend and inspiration to us all," Lindsay said.

"Barbara had a quick mind and a magic touch when it came to helping people."

A perfect example of that is when a young mother wanted to learn English so she could read to her child. She taught her to bake a cake.

"It was through the fun process of cooking that this young woman learned to read. Barbara wasn't a great baker but she knew how to teach and connect with people."

Lindsay said during her lifetime Mrs Rowe always honoured the Guides' promise she had made all those years ago by doing her best to "help other people at all times".

The Serious Crash Unit is still investigating the crash.