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Posted: April 4, 2021

Obituary of Clair Elaine Pusztay


JANUARY 4, 1964 – MARCH 25, 2021

It is with great sadness we announce that, on the evening of Thursday, March 25, 2021, surrounded by her loved ones, Clair Elaine Pusztay passed away at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital at the age of 57 years old. Clair was our dear mother, wife, sister, auntie, friend, and first-time grandmother-to-be.

Clair was born in Edmonton, Alberta on January 4, 1964, the youngest of four siblings.  Her life’s journey led her to live in various towns in Alberta and British Columbia. In 1975 she moved to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, spending 15 of her formative years there. It was there she became proficient in Spanish and became the well-recognized lead majorette in her high school’s marching band, even appearing in a TV commercial!

Clair was predeceased by her Brother Emmery Jr (Jimmy) 1974; Father Emmery Pusztay Sr. 1999; Mother-in-law Flo Parsons 2006; Father-in-law Harold Barbour 2017; and Mother Peggie Pusztay 2018.  She is survived by her loving husband of 21 years George Barbour; devoted daughters Clair Szuch (Josh), Vanessa Godziuk (Justin) and Ellen Barbour (Curtis); and adoring siblings Chris Pusztay and Maggie Pusztay (Rob Tweedie); as well as many close friends who became adopted siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins.

As a single mother Clair worked extremely hard to provide for her family. She also gave selflessly and devoted much of her time to care for her aging parents and in-laws. In 2000 she met the love of her life – George Barbour – with whom she relocated to Wasa and spent many happy days together with their dogs Tillie and Bazil. Clair had a passion for the outdoors and enjoyed pedal boating, fishing, and gardening.  She loved travelling and enjoyed her trips to Honduras, Cuba, Mexico, and the US. At any age Clair was always up for learning and trying new things.

In 2007 she went back to school to get her Office Administration & Technology – Administrative Assistant certificate at College of the Rockies (Cranbrook Campus).  She graduated in 2008, and shortly after, she began working at the College of the Rockies.  About a year later, Clair landed the position of her dreams, becoming the International Student Coordinator at COTR Cranbrook Campus.  It was there she earned the title of “Mommy Clair” and the love of her international students, as well as her peers.  She offered free hugs to everyone and even had a bell on her desk with the inscription “Ring for a Hug”! COTR was voted the #1 college for international students in the world in 2014 and 2015. Coincidence? We think not!

Due to COVID restrictions, a celebration of Clair’s life will be announced at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, you may make a memorial donation to the Palliative Care Unit of the East Kootenay Regional Hospital (https://www.ekfh.ca/donations-form/).

Clair will be dearly missed by us all and all those who came to know her.  Our families take this opportunity to thank all of you for your love and support for Clair, as well as for each and every one of us. In Clair’s memory, please remember to hug often and spread love and kindness wherever you go.


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