June Barrett
June Barrett

Obituary of June Barrett

"Growing Old Is Not for Sissies" June was right - growing old is not for sissies, but she managed to do it with a grace and strength all her own. June Patricia Barrett (née Hoult) passed away in the early afternoon on Sunday, February 2nd, 2020, surrounded by her children at her residence at Valleyview Home. She was 89 years old. She was born in Iver, Buckinghamshire, England on June 28th, 1930 to parents Thomas Charles and Ellen Hoult. Her childhood was spent in the English countryside, helping her parents in the garden and attending St. Joseph's of Slough. This private school run by nuns, is where her mother said many times that she wished June had been as good at maths as she was at netball (basketball). Her idyllic upbringing was cut short by the Second World War, which affected her community and family greatly, being as close as they were to London. Through these frightful years she learned to be self-sufficient and strong, while still maintaining a sense of dignity and decorum. It set the tone for the way she would carry herself for the rest of her life, and the example she set for her family. June loved the arts, theatre and musicals, and as a young woman she was a member of the Amateur Operatic Ensemble in London, England where she would appear in many productions. This love of music and singing would be retained throughout her life, and even as recently as her residency at Valleyview these last couple years, she was often found inadvertently outshining the weekly entertainment (much to the joy of the performers and staff). In her early twenties, June would meet and fall in love with her husband to be, Douglas Barrett, who, smitten, would spend most of his savings courting her. Their courtship quickly became marriage, and on July 5th, 1952, they began a 64-year-long romance and a family. In 1957 they emigrated from England to Canada with their first two children, searching for a better life. Over the next several years, June raised five children and kept up the home while Douglas worked and pursued completion of his education in Canada. In her spare time (which isn't a lot with five children), she enjoyed volunteering, playing golf and bridge, and was an active member of Trinity Anglican Church, the I.O.D.E., and Welcome Wagon, while also developing an extensive network life-long of friends. June herself would then go back to school in her forties to receive a Diploma as a Developmental Service Worker from Fanshawe College, along with an Award from the National Council of Jewish Women Canada, for Dedication and Commitment in her field. She worked at the Start Center at the St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital C. P. R. I., and then worked as a social service worker for the Ministry of Health inspecting nursing homes. In any job she took on, June was well-respected by her colleagues and devoted to her work. Retirement brought many opportunities to travel with Douglas and to spend time with dear friends and relatives, both in Canada and across the pond. However, the full-time job of doting on grandchildren usually took priority. June was predeceased by her husband Douglas Gordon Barrett (Feb 19th , 2017) and her beloved daughter Rebecca May Barrett (May 28th, 1988). She is survived by her children Donna (Bob), Paul (Michelle), Libby (Mark), and Ian (Lisa). She is also survived by 10 grandchildren: Shawn, Rachel, Audrey, Pearl, Lillian, Emma, Charlotte, Madeline, Aidan, and Teagan, as well as 4 great-grandchildren, Jack, Simon, Hannah and Oliver. She was also known as Nana Canada to the children of her nieces and nephews back in England. June was, in the words of a family friend, “no bigger than a minute, but stronger than an ocean,” and she could sort you out if she felt you warranted it! Her tenacity and child-like spirit had an impact on many, and her infectious smile she carried until the day she passed. In spite of the cruelty of dementia towards the end of her life, June would continue to find joy in the simplest of pleasures; in a song, an afternoon visit, or a small glass of sherry. No illness managed to rob her of the ability to make one feel loved, and truly special. That is her legacy. Visitation will be held at the Shawn Jackson Funeral Home 31 Elgin Street, St. Thomas (519-631-0570) on Thursday, February 6, 2020 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. The funeral service will be held at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 20 Flora Street, St. Thomas on Friday, February 7, 2020 at 11:00 am. Interment in Union Cemetery. Flowers respectfully declined. If desired, a donation to the Rotary Club of St. Thomas would be appreciated. Personal condolences to the family can be made at www.sjfh.ca “Love you mum, all the world, ‘round the garden and back again.”
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Thursday
6
February

Public Visitation

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Shawn Jackson Funeral Home
31 Elgin Street
St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
519-631-0570
Friday
7
February

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Friday, February 7, 2020
St. Thomas Anglican Church
20 Flora Street
St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada

Interment

Union United Church Cemetery
6008 Stone Church Rd
Union, Ontario, Canada
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