Cover photo for Barbara Jessie Monsma's Obituary
Barbara Jessie Monsma Profile Photo

Barbara Jessie Monsma

January 3, 1932 — August 16, 2023

Ponte Vedra Beach

Barbara Jessie Monsma

Barbara Monsma died peacefully at her home in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL on August 16, 2023. Barbara was born in Shanghai, China on January 3, 1932, to her English father and American mother and raised in Chefoo (now Yantai), where her family owned an import / export business.

During World War II, she and her family were detainees in the internment camp at Weishan for three and a half years. They returned to England after the war. After completing school in England, she worked for British European Airways and enjoyed traveling throughout Europe. It was during this time that she realized her love of photography.  She then moved to Canada and worked at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Barbara embarked on a bus trip to see the United States and visit her grandmother in San Francisco. On a sightseeing stop in Washington, DC, she met Edwin J Monsma, and they married in 1957. After her children were in school, she went back to work at the International Monetary Fund, retiring in 1997.

Barbara and Ed built a home in McLean, VA, living there for more than 50 years, and taking in all the neighborhood stray pets and giving them a home. They enjoyed gardening, entertaining friends, the theater, opera and orchestra and they traveled the world where Barbara honed her skills as an amateur photographer. She volunteered with The Hospice of Northern Virginia, hosted Tour and Tea at the Washington National Cathedral and was involved in a number of committees at St John’s Episcopal Church in McLean.

In 2017, they moved to Ponte Vedra Beach, FL to be closer to their great-grandchildren. Barbara and Ed made new friends in the Vicar’s Landing Community and continued to entertain them and cultivate a garden.

She is predeceased by her daughter, Jessica Harle Monsma; her parents and her sister, Elizabeth. She is survived by her husband, Ed; daughter, Liz (Jim McCarthy); son, Ian (Deirdre Groll); grandsons, Trey (Aleena) and Christopher (Amanda); great-grandchildren, Ainsley, Mikayla, Dean and Camile; nephews, Jonathan (Nicky) and Michael (Carolyn); and cousin, Ricky.

A celebration of Barbara’s life will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 400 San Juan Drive, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 on Saturday, August 26, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., reception following in The Parlor at Vicar’s Landing.

To order memorial trees in memory of Barbara Jessie Monsma, please visit our tree store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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