|Birth: ||Jul. 31, 1930, Canada|
|Death: ||Feb. 29, 2004, Canada|
Graham Barkley of RR2, Chesterville died at Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Feb. 29, 2004 after a brief battle with cancer.
He was born on July 31, 1930 on Weegar Road in the former Williamsburg Township. He was the eldest of four sons born to Arthur and Mary Barkley (nee Weegar). He received his education at S.S. # 8 in Williamsburg Township, Chesterville High School, and then, following high school, he attended normal school.
After graduating with a teaching certificate, he began his career at S.S. # 8 Beckstead School. It was a wonderful old one-room school house where he taught every subject. He left S.S. # 8 and went to teach in Arnprior where he taught for four years.
After four years in Arnprior, he moved to Ottawa where he taught at Hillson Avenue Public School, J.H. Putman, and he spent his final two years teaching at Cambridge Street school before retiring in 1985. Early during his tenure in Ottawa he attended night school and summer school to complete his bachelor of arts degree at the University of Ottawa.
Every weekend, he drove back home to his parents' farm, attended worship at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Dunbar, and returned to Ottawa after supper on Sunday night. This was his routine for some 35 years until his retirement in 1985.
He had the "gift of the gab," as he himself would readily admit, and on most of his trips home for the weekend he would come bearing tales of his week in school. Graham could be firm, but he was always fair. When he wasn't teaching 66 kids every day, he was marking their work at home on weekends.
Every month he would bake and decorate a special cake for his students so they could celebrate each other's birthdays. The cake would be cut into precise portions using a ruler to measure each square, and there was a special cake in June for summer birthdays.
During his final year of teaching, he gleefully threw away his lesson plans, and had absolutely no intentions to supply teach. Upon his retirement, he said that he would never wear a tie again. When it was pointed out to him that it would be the first time in 50 years that he wouldn't return to school in September, he laughed and said, "I won't miss it one bit!"
He simply moved on. He moved back to the Weegar Road, to a house directly across from where he was born. For the past 19 years, he occupied himself with the joys of gentleman farming - that is raising a multitude of cats, a dog, a few chickens, and a duck that he hatched from an egg.
It was good to be home. He loved to be near his family. He loved to be near his church. He loved loud shirts, wild colors, flowers, birds, cats, food, knitting, poetry, bowling, volunteering, playing bingo, and entertaining. He loved to try new things - like hitching up behind a snowmobile with a pair of waterskis, also known as "snurfing," and rollerblading down the Weegar Road.
He was a kind and very generous man. He always gave freely of his time, energy and resources, ensuring that, if he couldn't do something himself, somebody else would be given the opportunity to do it in his place.
He loved being out in God's creation. But the sunshine in his life wasn't limited by the weather. For nearly 20 years he had been going into Winchester District Memorial Hospital every Tuesday morning to brighten the days of the patients in the complex care wing by participating with a group called the Sunshine Circle.
He served as treasurer of the Winchester District Memorial Hospital Auxiliary for nearly 15 years and was recently honored as a lifetime member of the Ontario Hospital Auxiliary Association. He was a dedicated volunteer, always willing to help out with any activities involving the CNIB, WDMH, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, or the Canadian Cancer Society.
He had been the chairperson of St. Luke's Lutheran Church for over 30 years. He was a lector, Sunday school and confirmation class teacher, worship assistant and steward of visitation. He regularly made up the weekly church bulletin, annual reports, etc. His involvement in many community activities and events will certainly be missed.
He is survived by his brothers O. Lee (Edna) Barkley of R.R.# 2 Chesterville, and Lorne (Edna) Barkley of Burritts Rapids; nephews Garry (Diane) Barkley of Vernon, David Barkley of RR 2 Chesterville; niece Sandra (Rev. Jo) Barkley-Probst of Morrisburg; great-nieces Angela and Meghan Barkley of Vernon; and nephew Adam Barkley of Vernon. He was predeceased by his parents, Arthur and Mary, and brother Donald Barkley.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Williamsburg on March 2. Funeral service was held at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Dunbar on March 3 with Rev. Jo Barkley-Probst and Rev. Mark Ehlebracht co-officiating.
Interment followed at Maple Ridge Cemetery. Pallbearers were Ray Dillabough, Barry Elliott, Garry Elliott, Gordon Elliott, Denis Madore, and Bob Dillabough. Donations to St. Luke's Lutheran Church or the Ontario Veterinary College Pet Trust Fund would be appreciated by the family.
Maple Ridge Cemetery
Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry United Counties
Created by: Joan Donnelly
Record added: Dec 08, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 121442329
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