In Passing: Joel Anthony Barrett

Joel Anthony Barrett Architect AIBC passed away peacefully Easter Sunday in White Rock at the Peace Arch Hospice surrounded by his loved ones. With heavy hearts all his family said goodbye to a sweet wonderful soul. Joel was born on October 8, 1930 in Didsbury, Alberta to Roger and Emma. With his five brothers and sisters, he lived a small town life and accomplished all that he set his mind to becoming an excellent student, gifted pianist and fine artist. He went off to the University of Manitoba to study Architecture and later to Columbia University in New York where he received his Masters in 1956, at a time when few did, let alone a young man from a prairie farming town. Joel settled in Calgary where he joined the firm that would become Stevenson, Raines, Barrett, Hutton and Seton shortly after his arrival. As the firms Design Partner through 1988, he designed some of Calgary’s most notable buildings such as the Calgary Centre for Performing Arts, Calgary Airport, Mount Royal College, and many churches such as St. Anthony’s and St. James just to name a few. He received many awards such as the Governor General’s award and was honored when named a fellow by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. During these early years he met a beautiful young secretary named Marion who caught his eye and became the love of his life, best friend, wife, and the mother of his children. They enjoyed for 58 wonderful years together. Family, friends, and gatherings were the focal point of their early years. In 1989 they relocated to Vancouver for a new lease and lifestyle. They settled in West Vancouver where they enjoyed the west coast lifestyle for over 25 years. During Joel’s career at CJP Architects in New Westminster, he designed many excellent schools, hospitals and government buildings always with the needs of the occupants as his main focus. He enjoyed many years working side by side with his son Mark, Joel retired at 79. During his cherished 55 + year career he mentored many young architects and always cared deeply for the craft. Joel is fondly remembered for his kind demeanor, warm smile, sense of humor and keen intellect. Visitors all enjoyed his hospitality and ample beverage offerings “what are you drinking?” He had great pool and ping pong skills developed during his youth and hustled many quarters from his unsuspecting offspring in basement challenges. His artistic talents were many including 50 plus years of hand drawn Christmas cards featuring his children, family and grandsons. Joel enjoyed golf, tennis, spy novels, crossword puzzles, painting and most of all spending time with Marion, his children, Granny, his nephews and nieces and two grandsons. The last few years were challenging following a few strokes, but with the loving and constant care from Marion and Brad he still enjoyed these last couple of years and rarely complained. He will be greatly missed and forever fondly remembered. Joel is survived by his wife Marion, sons Mark and Brad, daughter Terace and daughter-in-law Andrea, grandsons Jordan and Drew, nieces Karen, Lucille and Donna, nephews Terry, Russell, Dean, Lane, Tim and Lance, his eldest sister Betty and sister in-law Marlene.In lieu of flowers, donations in Joel’s name to the Peace Arch Hospice Society would be greatly appreciated. Their warm care and compassion sustained our family through Joel’s final journey with dignity, love and respect, befitting such an incredible man. Our words cannot express the impact he has had on our lives and how he will be missed. A Celebration of his Life will be held on April 25, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. at the Hazelmere Golf Course Clubhouse in South Surrey.

The above information was sourced from the Vancouver Sun, published on April 18, 2015.

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