STUART NEIL BARBER SEPTEMBER 20, 1946 – DECEMBER 29, 2019
Stuart Neil Barber, at the age of 73, passed away at his home, his little piece of paradise on Black Sturgeon Lake. Stu battled cancer since his diagnosis nearly two years ago. “Let’s give it a shot.”, “If it will give me more time.”, and “Let’s go for it!” were inspirational comments he spoke throughout his brave fight.
Dad was predeceased by his parents Bus, Marjorie, and sister Karolee Barber; parents in law Frank and Marion Johnson; and his Bride of 42 years Susan Elaine Barber. Stu’s presence will be greatly missed by his children, Holly Barber (Eric Becks) and Tara Barber (Rob Laplante), along with his grandchildren Tianna, Liam, McKenna Isfeld (Bill Isfeld), Jesse Becks and Cameron Laplante. Dad will also be missed by his sister in law Carol Hall (Bud) and niece Melanie Alcock (Brad and children Will and Ryan). During his recent last visit with niece Melanie, he joked and displayed his sarcastic sense of humour, making her laugh like he did in his healthier days; brothers in law Warren Johnson (Emmy and Matt) and Brent Johnson (Doris and Kayla). Dad was able to visit many of his friends in his last few weeks to share stories and a cold Labatt’s Blue! These visits were priceless and a testament of the relationships he established and maintained over the years. Dad was always described as “one of a kind” … his rough exterior was balanced by an interior of empathy, a love for animals, and a generous and giving spirit. He never missed a year of donations to the Cardiac Care Center at St. Boniface, whom he spoke highly of for their efforts and for coming so close to saving Mom’s life.
Dad was born and raised in Kenora. His early years were spent on the mound, pitching ball or on the ice. We were always told stories of Dad’s ball skills and how his desire to stay in Kenora, marry Mom, and navigate the Winnipeg River outweighed his desire to pitch “in the big leagues”. If not on the diamond, dad could be found roaming the Winnipeg River with childhood friend and accomplice, Al Minor. We are sure some of those stories were never shared! Dad liked to joke that he had 4 years of High School, all in grade 9! He went to school, “In the front door and out the back!” He later attained his diploma while working at “The Mill” as a Millwright for 34+ years. Along with his ability to “take a ball of steel wool and knit a stove”, dad could create and build just about anything he set his mind too and was a natural repair man with a dream garage. He was fortunate to work side by side with many good friends. This included his best bud and Black Sturgeon neighbor, of 41 years, Eddie Pereux. Stu and Sue’s friendship with Ed and Di (Lisa and Leanne) grew over the years along with their families. Many gatherings and celebrations were shared together, making them family, not just friends. Dad and Uncle Eddie provided us kids with non-stop entertainment that included water skiing, tubing, snow machining, boat trips, and the yearly winter wood gathering adventures. Along with Vic and Judy Lund, Pat (the late Bob) Selway, Kathy and John Palson, and so many other close friends ... there was always a party and gathering, kids downstairs and adults upstairs … adults eventually halting their shenanigans to judge the air band competitions. Stu could often be spotted headed upstream to the Canfield clan, beer in shorts, as he sailed the Sturgeon on the wind surfer that he “bought the girls”! Other favourite past times included fishing, hunting (yearly trips to Fletcher) and his friendly visits to the Legion or other locations to catch up with his buddies. His favourite place to spend time was the family camp on the Winnipeg River. Like his dad, Stu fished, hunted and created an oasis that the generations to follow still enjoy regularly and are so thankful for. Many hours were spent with his grandchildren teaching them to swim, play darts and riding around on the quad. They will miss Papa’s stories, silly jokes and antics, and his many funny faces! His 4-legged man’s best friend, Bailey, will miss her quad rides and following Dad around as he always had a pocket full of dog treats and a loving rub down. Dad … your absence is felt deeply already. We will lean on your legacy and the memories you engrained.
We would like to thank Dad’s health care team at Cancer Care Manitoba (Dr. Hochman, Dr. Krahn and Nurse Eva), his Health Sciences Centre radiation team, the St. Boniface Hospital health care staff, as well as his Kenora team, Dr. Rhonda Diamond, the LWDH 3rd floor nursing and medical staff, his palliative care team, and his home care specialists. A special thanks goes out to our special friend, and extraordinary nurse to Dad, Roberta Giesbrecht. Also thanked for their care, professionalism and advocacy are Dr. Hristov and Dr. Spielman.
Internment and a Private Celebration of life will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to It’s a Dog’s Life Fostering Network or a charity of your choice. Condolences may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org