July 21, 1942 – May 4, 2021
Barry was 78 years old. Born in Brandon, Manitoba to Les and Doris Mitchell, he attended Brandon Collegiate High School. As a youth he was dedicated to scouting, finishing this chapter of his life as an Eagle Scout. Barry graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1967 with degrees in both Law and Commerce. He was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. Until his death, he maintained relationships with a small band of Law School alumni.
Barry moved to West Vancouver, BC in 1971 with his first wife, Diane, and their infant daughter, Andrea. In 1973, the family welcomed son, Jeffery.
For over a decade Barry pursued a successful career with Morguard Trust real estate group. In the early-80’s, he switched gears entirely when he embraced the path and fellowship of 12-step sobriety. He found himself drawn to listening to, guiding and mentoring others through their early sobriety which led naturally to achieving his counselling certification through Vancouver’s Counsellor Training Institute, specializing in both addiction counselling and hypnotherapy. Barry ran his private practice until he eased into retirement in his late 60’s. He provided Aftercare services for Edgewood Treatment Centre for many years. His daughter Andrea followed his footsteps for a time, and they worked together providing this service.
He had a number of diverse hobbies and interests over the years. In the 1970’s Barry had a motorcycle and a drum-kit (for like 5 minutes) until he was likely ordered to dispense with both. He turned his attentions to C.B. radio, going by the handle of “Whitey” - a nod to his hair colour, one hopes! Decades later he revived this hobby, taking it to the next level by getting his Ham Radio licence and erecting a massive antenna on the roof of his duplex, much to the delight of Sharon and his neighbours...
Like his father, who owned a dealership in Brandon, Barry had also had a love of cars and driving. This ranged from putting his performance vehicles through their paces to long road-trips and camping trips with the family. He was also always drawn to technology, adopting the latest trends and gadgets - from the first IBM home computer to every Apple product ever brought to market. He loved to shop and he loved to travel, especially to warm climes like Mexico.
Barry also loved to fish salmon and trout and was a proud member of the Tyee club - catching a 30+ pound Chinook on a drag-free reel affectionately referred to as a “knuckle-buster”. He produced memorable smoked salmon in his “Little Chief” smoker. He tried his hand at golf on several occasions with more-or-less success, like most people.
Many may not know that Barry earned his black belt in White Tiger style Pai Hu Shi Kung Fu, training under Grand Master Olaf Simon at Temple Kungfu, North Vancouver.
He had an affection for companion animals. He swung from swearing he would never have cats, to having three, and then never going without at least one cat, one dog, or one parrot for the rest of his life!
Barry had an affinity for tattoos, marking memorable times and interests in his life. This included several eagles, a tiger, footsteps in sand (Hawaii 1972), and most recently the initials “TKE” referring to his university fraternity. He was also a collector West Coast Indigenous ceremonial objects, art and jewellery.
He always maintained a sizable supply of spearmint Trident gum, pink Sweet and Low packets, tubs of Imperial Margarine and salt on everything! Thanks to Joan for teaching him about salads in his later years.
Barry had a number of significant health difficulties in the last 5 years of his life that made it challenging for him to live fully but found friendship and good care at Christianson Village Assisted Living in Gibsons, BC, where he spent the final 6 months of his life. His daughter describes Barry and the life he led as “colourful and complicated”. While he lived an imperfect life, he also brought a lot of love, gentleness, healing, companionship, intelligence and laughter to this world. It is for these qualities Barry will be remembered.