BARR, William Alexander "Bill"
1925 – 2014
Peacefully at the Ottawa Hospital on August 23, 2014 at the age of 89. Son of Dolly and Peter Barr, Bill grew up in the family home in Port Arthur, Ontario. He is survived by his sister Betty Lewis of Edmonton, brother Peter (Elinor) Barr of Thunder Bay, nephews Doug (Cindy) Lewis, Edmonton, Rob (Wendy) Lewis, Wetaskiwin, Stuart (Kathryn) Barr, Ottawa, and Peter (Lidia) Barr, Toronto, grandnephews and nieces Shawn and Cameron Lewis, Peter and Robin Lewis, Carolyn and Heather Barr. Predeceased by his parents, brother David in infancy, brother- in-law Haig Lewis, and his relatives in Scotland, uncle William Barr, aunts Daisy Dobbie and Dora Halliday and cousin George Halliday. In Port Arthur, Bill was an early member of the Cambrian Players. He joined up at 17 and went on to serve with distinction in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II. He returned to live in Ottawa where he began a thirty year career as a teacher at the Ottawa Technical High School on Albert Street. Fiercely independent, smart, and proud of his heritage, Bill was a well loved and respected guidance counsellor at Ottawa Tech. He counselled and supported his students over the years, keeping in touch with many of them. Bill had a gift for friendship and enjoyed being the centre of evenings filled with stories and laughter. To meet Bill was to find music, laughter and a drink in the hand! Italo Tiezzi shared Bill's long connection with his students and colleagues from Ottawa Tech and was a dear, true friend, along with Therese Couillard Sibiga and Jeannine Lefrancois who were also so very caring of Bill as his health declined. Charles Pitts, John Hilson, Massimo Verdicchio, Edward Penton, Hugh Penton, Bert Kelso, Ron Scammel, Pat Kirk, the Topshees, the Bortolottis, the Arnones, and the Collins were among the many friendships he cherished through the years. Not to be forgotten are the members of the Band of OTHS. The Medical Team at the Civic Campus on 3A was much appreciated for their care and concern for Bill's well being during his time there. Thanks are also extended to the staff of the Parkdale Physiotherapy Clinic who did so much to help Bill. At Bill's request, there will be no visitation or service but friends will gather at a later date to toast Bill and to celebrate his life and many friendships. To remember Bill, take a listen to a favourite Broadway Musical or an aria from Tosca, give a grand toast, tell a fine story, and then, "let's go eat!". Donations may be made to your favourite charity in Bill's memory.
"But where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns.
Don't bother they're here."
(Stephen Sondheim, A Little Night Music)
Published in The Ottawa Citizen from Aug. 29 to Aug. 30, 2014