Barbara Ellen Narins, a Great Falls resident of 13 years and a nurse,
lecturer, and wife and mother died Wednesday, Sept. 25.
Born in Forest Hills, N.Y. to Anastasia and Robert Heidt on Dec. 24, 1939
she earned her degree as a registered nurse from Flower-Fifth Avenue
Hospital in 1960 and one year later married Dr. Robert Narins, then a
medical student. Over their next 51 years together Barbara raised their
two boys, Brigham and David and supported Robert's career in academic
medicine, which carried them to Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Detroit
and finally to Great Falls.
Despite these household demands Barbara found time to become certified
as a nurse practitioner (1983), a diabetes nurse educator (1986) and a
clinical transplant coordinator (1988, specializing in heart transplantation).
She published 20 papers in nationally prominent journals, was a frequent
lecturer, and wrote opinion columns for various nursing journals.
Barbara was also on the nursing faculty at Temple University Hospital
in Philadelphia and Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Over the years she
continued to receive letters from many of the patients she cared for during
her four decades of clinical practice.
A loving mother, she was devoted to her boys, their soccer, baseball and
football games and took great pride in their successes. As her friends
and family knew, Barbara made certain that everyone was up-to-date on
her four beloved grandchildren, Haley, Will, Graham and Sophie, and her
adored daughters-in law Melissa and Judy.
Barbara loved to cook, acting as master chef in the Narins Great Falls
household, and was an avid reader and gardener; she practiced these
loves alongside the community as a member of the Great Falls Women’s
Book Club and the Great Falls Garden Club. In both venues she could
always be relied upon to make trenchant comments and observations and
was an admired friend.
Wrote her husband Robert in an email to the Connection Wednesday, Oct.
9, recalling the words of Ann Richards, the late governor of Texas, "'Ginger
Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did but did it backwards and in
high heels.' [My wife] wore more sensible shoes but was comparably
talented and as graceful in all her accomplishments as the great dancer.
She was deeply loved and respected, and, paraphrasing Cicero, her life
was well spent and will not be forgotten."