September 30, 1936 – June 11, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
The family of Barry Whiting is sad to announce his passing on June 11, 2023.
Owen Barrington Whiting was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK in the fall of 1936. He emigrated to Canada in 1946 as part of the Child Migrant program, working at the Fairbridge Farm near Duncan until his teens, A short stint as a Jeep mechanic in the army cadets brought him to the streets of Vancouver where he wandered into the BC Forestry office. Being able to identify 5 different tree types he was quickly hired and whisked off to the wilderness of Alert Bay BC.
There he enjoyed visiting all the logging camps throughout the Nimpkish Valley and Knight Inlets. He met the love of his life, Joanna, and they promptly had 3 children. Work dried up as the camps closed, so Barry and his family moved to California and sunnier climates.
Working for Disney Corp, he found he had an artistic talent for drawing, but movie backdrop painting and artist assembly line productions were not his forte. He then found work as a commercial painter completing track houses in the hills above Santa Barbra.
In 1963, Barry and Joanna welcomed their 4th child, Angella, to the flock. Shortly after this, the family was left with a tough decision, to move to Australia, or back to Canada. Having found a 20 Acre farm for sale in the East Kootenays of BC, they quickly packed all their belongings and drove north to Spillimacheen.
City dwellers had a lot to learn about farming in the country with hot summers and harsh winters. Barry and Joanna stayed on for over 40 years.
Many people passed through their kitchen door over those years, all were welcome, provided that they had stories to tell. Some carried on down the road, but many stayed in the valley.
From the late 60s, Barry worked at various seasonal jobs in the wilderness of the Columbia Valley until finally settling down as a lead painter in Kootenay National Park. During his winter evenings, he would continue to draw and sell his works through various galleries and venues. His pen and inks hang in many valley homes as well as around the world.
Loving nature to his core, Barry became an advocate and co-founder of the Friends of the Columbia Wetlands, where he gave hundreds of presentations to children, elders, and tourists on the many species of mammals and over 260 species of birds that live throughout the Columbia Valley.
His work was appreciated through the award of the Living Lakes commendation in 2004.
Barry also enjoyed his old cars. Having co-founded the Columbia Valley Show and Shine, it is now going into its 30+ year running at Radium Hot Springs.
Moving to Sooke BC in 2007, Barry and Joanna quickly joined the small community and became integral parts of the artisans and Fall fairs.
In his final years, Barry continued to display his artwork and photography, offering the proceeds of the sales to local non-profits and children’s organizations.
Barry is predeceased by his wife Joanna, and daughter Angella, and is survived by children, Steven (Darlene) of Victoria, Patricia(Larry) of Brisco, and Peter (Olga) of Falkland. His legacy continues on in his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren throughout Canada.
Barry’s family would like to thank all his dear friends from all of the years spent in the valley and those of his “breakfast club” at Cathy’s Corner Cafe who were there in his final years.
Blessings to the angels at Sunset Lodge in Esquimalt for their care.
A celebration of Barry’s life is planned for the fall.Obituary-
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