Rebecca Y. M. Barnhoorn ~ March 31, 2017


Rebecca Y. M. (Becky) Barnhoorn, 78, of Honeoye, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away peacefully, March 31, 2017 at F.F. Thompson Hospital, Canandaigua.

Born on February 19, 1939 in Bath, NY, as Laura Jane Wilson, she was given up for adoption by her natural parents, the late Orin and Helen Jane (Williams) Wilson, when she was 8 months old. On August 26, 1940, she was formally adopted by the late Robert and Isabel (Snay) Wilcox of Bath, and her name was legally changed to Rebecca Yvonne Wilcox. She later added Mary to her given name.

During her youth in Bath, Rebecca went to Haverling Central School. She was active in the Girls Scouts, and the Centenary Methodist Youth Fellowship, participating in the choir and as a pianist.

Because of a lack of love by her adoptive mother, Rebecca left the Wilcox home. She lived her late teen years in foster homes in New York City, Hornell and Rochester. She completed her education at Nazareth Academy in Rochester, graduating in 1959.

On November 5, 1960, Rebecca married Bart Joseph Barnhoorn at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Rochester; Bart predeceased her on May 3, 1996. Rebecca worked as a nursing assistant at St. Ann’s Nursing Home, Rochester; Elm Manor Nursing Home, Canandaigua; Honeoye Lake Home for Adults; and Sisters of St. Joseph’s Infirmary, Rochester. She also provided private duty in-home nursing care.

In the 1970s, Becky served as a member of the Committee for the Handicapped at Honeoye Central School. She also was an organist at the former St. Michael’s Church, Livonia Center.

On December 17, 1990, after over half century of separation, Rebecca was united with her biological brother Paul Douglas Watkins. The reunion was made possible by the persistent research of Rebecca’s son, Stephen.

In addition to her biological parents and husband, she was predeceased by her brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Shirley Watkins, paternal half-sister, Thelma Jennie Wilson, and niece Colleen Jane Watkins.

Rebecca will be sorely missed by five children, Michael J. Barnhoorn of Honeoye Falls, Daniel J. (Andrea) Barnhoorn of Scottsville, Stephen A. Barnhoorn of Honeoye, Bart J. Barnhoorn of Lima, and Toni (James) Sloan of Bloomfield; five grandchildren, Nickki Lee Barnhoorn, Lydia Anne Guthrie, USA Sgt. Suzanne W. Barnhoorn-Beardslee, Elliott J. Guthrie, and Christopher W. Barnhoorn; great-grandson, Elijiah Joseph Perrin; many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017, 10:30 AM at St. Mary’s Church in Honeoye, Father Hoan Dinh, officiating. Interment at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Honeoye. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Rebecca’s memory to the Richmond Fire Department, 4830 County Rd. 36, P.O. Box 469, Honeoye, NY 14471. Arrangements by Kevin W. Dougherty Funeral Home Inc. To send a condolence please visit:


12 thoughts on “Rebecca Y. M. Barnhoorn ~ March 31, 2017

  1. Rebecca passed away without seeing a change in the old sealed birth certificate law signed by Governor Lehman in 1938. A law denying adoptees access to original birth certificates forever bringing about an organized grass roots lobby group at the Capitol, dedicated to restoring the legal right to know one’s identity. She was entitled to her original birth certificate and without government involvement but, NY state government would not listen and would not change it’s Father Knows Best secrecy policy. Her son Stephen gave her hope with his tireless research.

  2. Steve -Condolences to you Steve and all of the beautiful family your Mom left behind!

  3. Your mom was well blessed in this life. Those of us who were fortunate enough to know her were also blessed.
    She is in the arms of her father now. Our prayers are for those who will have to learn to live without her. We will all be reunited soon enough in a better place.

  4. Dear Steve and Barnhoorn family,

    This obituary is a very well-written and touching tribute to your mom, Rebecca Y.M. Barnhoorn. I remember Rebecca as a devoted wife and mother to her family as well as a very compassionate person. She was always kind to me and welcoming whenever I would visit your home. I also remember her as encouraging and the bearer of good advice. Rebecca will be missed by all who have known and loved her, but
    hopefully there is some consolation in knowing that she was a woman of faith and is with the Lord now. I will keep your family in my prayers. God bless each of you, Monica Wellington

  5. Steve & family
    Our deepest sympathy to you. Loosing a parent is so difficult.

    Steve you have been a wonderful son. You opened your home to your Mom
    And took such wonderful care of her. You gave your Mom so much and you
    Have precious memories.

    Let us know if we can help you in any way

  6. Steve, I just found out that your dear Mother passed. My thoughts and
    prayers are with you and your family. You are such a caring son, and I hope
    that is a comfort to you in your loss.

  7. Dear Barnhoorn family,
    Even tho i didn’t know your mom i am sending you my deepest sympathies. I know how
    hard it is to lose your mom. I’ve heard several good things about her. Just take these next days months and years to remember all the good times and that she loved each one of you. Take comfort that she is no longer in pain and is at peace in the loving arms of your dad and God. I pray for your entire family. If there is anything you need i am just a Facebook message away. If you need baked beans(Steve’s favorite) for the service after please let me know. God Bless each of you. In deepest sympathies, Kim, Glenn, Cody and Alyssa Richardson

  8. Steve and family,
    Peace and prayers to your family.
    The Fitzgerlads- Bill and Marsha

  9. Such a beautiful send-off. You can sure tell she was loved by all of you rest in peace.

  10. Steve, myself and my family express the deepest condolences for the loss of your mother. I know you were a very good son and did all you could to make her final days happy and comforting. You have definitely made a difference in her life. I hope the rest of your family realizes your dedication and love you gave to your mom and made her feel like the most important person on earth. Your mother was a great mother, she raised a very very intelligent and funny and civically aware son. I will be praying for the extended Barnhoorn family and hoping that they can get through this very sad and trying time.

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