John Atkinson

John Atkinson

October 28th, 1935 February 29th, 2020

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Obituary for John Barry Atkinson

John Barry Atkinson was born in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, England on October 28th, 1935. The first born of Charles and Florence Atkinson, Barry was later blessed with two sisters, Joyce and Janet. Barry’s parents made sure their only son was well educated. He was the apple of his Nanny’s eye, whom once declared he was more like her own son. Nanny made sure Barry was always well stocked with chocolate biscuits. Barry was a young child during the second world war and often recalled running through the streets to get home while the bomb sirens were blaring. At the age of 11, Barry met a young lady at Sunday school; little did he know at that time this young lady, “Betty” would become his wife on March 13th, 1957.

When first married, Betty and Barry lived in London, England while Barry finished his term in the Army Medical Corps. The couple later settled in Norton and had two daughters, Karen and Beverley. Being a roving spirit, Barry decided it was time to move his family to Canada in 1966. The Hospital for Sick Children Toronto offered Barry a job and this became his workplace for some twenty plus years.

As a family, the Atkinsons moved six times, Betty and Barry moved another three times while living in Ontario. Eventually Barry accepted a job in Saudi Arabia, where they embarked on the adventure of a lifetime, both geographically and spiritually. This is where Betty and Barry were first introduced to The Alpha Ministries which solidified their faith in Jesus Christ. The job and the culture was sometimes trying, but they also had the opportunity to travel to various countries such as, Thailand, Egypt and Israel, their favourite. When they finally retired, Barry and Betty decided to move to Forestburg, Alberta, and then to Medicine Hat, which they called home for over 20 years.

Barry was a proud grandfather and loved to hear stories about his grandchildren, their accomplishments and their numerous adventures. Barry also had the pleasure of becoming a great-grandfather and enjoyed any opportunity to visit with his great-grandchildren whenever possible.

In 2015, Barry was devastated by the unexpected loss his wife, Betty. These past 4 ½ years have been tough for Barry, dealing with health issues and the void left by his Betty’s passing. He always looked forward to meeting his coffee buddies on Monday and Friday mornings at the local McDonalds.

We take comfort in knowing Barry has now been reunited with the love of his life, Betty. Barry will be missed dearly, he was a wonderful Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather. Barry will always be with us by his legacy in his children and their families: Karen and Ron, and their children Nigel, Emma, Sarah, Liam and Faith; Bev and Kelly, and their children Jillian and Andrew; son-in-law, J.D. Gaetan and daughter-in-law, Ashley Roach; and his great grandchildren, Amelia, Sophia and Arlo.

The Funeral Service will be held at ST. BARNABAS ANGLICAN CHURCH, 635 - 4th Street SE, on Friday, March 6th, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. with The Reverend Dr. Oz Lorentzen and The Reverend Canon D. Gene Packwood co-officiating. A Private Interment will take place at Saamis Prairie View Cemetery. Memorial gifts in Barry's memory may be made to the Alzheimer Society, 201, 770 – 6th Street SW, Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 4J6. Condolences may be sent through or to subject heading Barry Atkinson.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Barry Atkinson, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Service Details

  • Funeral Service

    March 6th, 2020 | 11:00am
    St. Barnabas Anglican Church
    635 - 4th Street SE
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    March 6th, 2020
    The Reverend Dr. Oz Lorentzen
    The Reverend Canon D. Gene Packwood
  • Interment

    Saamis Prairie View Cemetery
    5160 Gershaw Drive SW
    Medicine Hat, Alberta
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Private Interment
  • Reception

    March 6th, 2020 |
    St. Barnabas Anglican Church
    635 - 4th Street SE
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    March 6th, 2020

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Adair Prouty

Adair Prouty
My sympathy to Barry’s family. I will miss him as quite often we went to Communion together and when we retuned to our pews he always guided me to my place before he took his place across the isle. What a gentleman. I enjoyed hearing about his family and career. Heaven is getting an angel for sure and he will finally be reunited with his Betty who he missed so much.

Adair Prouty
Comment | Posted at 11:53pm via Condolence

Lorie Bonin-Sandford

My sincere condolences to you Bev and your family ⚘
Comment | Posted at 06:27pm via Condolence

Cath Sparling

To Karen and Bev and your entire families please accept my heartfelt condolences over Barry's passing. Apart from being my boss as chief technologist at Sick Kids hospital in Toronto for many years he was a great friend. His office door was always open, he always had a smile and never an unkind word. Because of him the lab was the best place to work and as a result many of us who worked together are still friends all those years later. We treasured his guidance, respected his knowledge and valued his friendship. He will be sorely missed but he will live forever as long as you speak his name.
My thoughts are with you all.
Cath Sparling
Comment | Posted at 04:04pm via Condolence

Karen Lokaisingh

Thank you Cathy. So appreciate your comments about dad xo
Posted at 07:18pm


I have many fond memories of conversations shared with Barry. One of my most memorable was when Barry told me about his time in York, England with the love of his life, Betty. I was so intrigued that when I went to visit my cousin in Liverpool, we took a train and spent the day in York. Barry and I had a wonderful conversation sharing memories of that time and place in his life. I was so glad I went! Gentleness and kindness are the two words that describe him best for me. I will miss his greeting each Sunday when he would be in his blue chair in the hallway waiting to enter the sanctuary. A hug and a smile were always awaiting me. He will so be missed in our church family, and though I grieve this loss, I find joy in knowing he is with our Lord, and has been reunited with his beautiful Betty.
My sincerest sympathies to each of you as you mourn the passing of this amazing man.
Comment | Posted at 10:46am via Condolence

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