After a long hard-fought battle, with sense of humour intact, and his love by his side, Ron left this world peacefully on September 28, 2023, at the Souris Health Centre.
Ronald Allan Barclay was born in Souris Manitoba, to Allan and Eva, on September 28th, 1943. His first home was the family farm north of Souris, it would also be his last. He loved everything about the farm; spring seeding and fall harvest, his huge yard, impromptu visits at the infamous staff room, his immaculately trimmed hedge, his garden (hands off the tomatoes!), and his various kitties, most recently Lincoln and Jack. He was an armchair weatherman, and could tell you what tomorrow would bring just by looking up at the sky.
Ron joined the Navy in 1961 and was stationed at HMCS Cornwallis, just outside Digby Nova Scotia. He was only there for one year but he formed a lifetime of memories in that short time, they were some of the best days of his life. The following year he returned to Souris to farm with his Dad, and brother Glen. In June 1964 he married Carole McBurney. Together, they welcomed Sandy in 1964, Warren in 1968, and Eldon in 1973. They moved to Winnipeg in 1964 where he worked for Good Year Tire. He also attended Red River College during this time, graduating at the top of his Heavy Duty Mechanics class, a skill that always came in handy on the farm. Next he worked for International Harvester, but in 1969, the pull of Souris brought the family home. He worked briefly for CP Rail, as well as the Souris arena, but eventually the urge to farm returned, and he joined his Dad and Glen once again. There were other jobs in between, the Souris Legion being one. Later in life he found a new career as a painter. Ron was very skilled at this and was always in demand due to his attention to detail.
In 1978, his beloved son, Eldy, passed at the age of 5. Ron’s heart broke along with his sons, and life would never be the same. In January 1984, Ron took his last drink and joined AA, an organization that saved him, and helped pave the way for peace in his remaining years.
One winter’s night in 1990, he attended a singles dance in Brandon, where he was approached by a familiar pretty face. Linda and Ron had known each other their entire lives, but only connected that night. Their love blossomed quickly, and they were married in December 1996, in a little chapel in Las Vegas, with family at their side. And at each other’s side the two of them would remain for the next 26 years.
Ron fulfilled a lifelong dream when he purchased his 1981 Harley Davidson Electra Glide. Together with Linda and their circle of friends, they made new friends and many memories on the ‘shovel-head’. There were lots of day trips for lunches and coffee, including annual camping trips to Sturgis. Oh the stories he would tell!
Ron became a very proud grandpa in November 1993 when Justin came along. They spent many days fishing and painting side by side, forming a lasting bond. Justin and Sandy joined Ron and Linda on one trip to Sturgis, as well as one of their many trips to Puerto Vallarta, Ron and Linda’s happy place. Warren and Renée also twice joined them in the Barbados. So many happy memories were made on these trips.
There would be a lot more people enter his life via Linda; her kids and Grandchildren, who were all so very special to him. We all knew when Grandpa Ron disappeared to the TV room, he’d had enough! There were pranks, inappropriate (but hilarious) nicknames, laughs, and always lots of love.
Ron always wanted to go back to Digby and in the fall of 2022, he finally made it. It would be the last trip his body would allow, but not even Hurricane Fiona could keep him from getting there.
Ron had many health struggles throughout most of his life, but he soldiered on, including dialysis three times a week in his last 6 months. Eventually his body couldn’t keep up. He was determined to make it to his 80th birthday, and true to character he did, passing 3 hours into his big day. He was that strong willed.
Ron was predeceased by his parents, Allan and Eva, sister-in-law Gwen, and his precious son, Eldon. Left to mourn his passing is his loving wife of 26 years, Linda, his daughter Sandy, son Warren (Renée), grandson Justin (Ashton), brother Glen, nephews Andy (Allison), Greg (Nicole), and his step children Denise (Don), Darryl (Ang), Dana (Calem), Derek (Michelle). Grandpa Ron will also be dearly missed by his step-grandchildren and great grandchildren who he made a lasting impression on: Kendra (Brennan), Ashlyn & Ryder, Brett, Tyra, Taylor (Nic), Raegan, Nathan (Tyra), Ari & Brooks, Erick, Cohen, Ella, Maddox, Jace and Kyan. He also leaves behind many loyal friends who helped carry ‘Bark’ through the tough times, laughed alongside him in the good times. In his words, what a long strange trip it’s been. We will all miss him so very much 💜
Special thanks to Dr. Cram, who has been a constant caring support for 37 years, the staff at the Souris Hospital, the Brandon Hospital, and the Assiniboine Center. Ron was always so grateful, and quick to tell us how well he was being taken care of. Thank you to Val and Dexter who have held our hands and made this all a little bit easier. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us, his family, and supported us with food and kind deeds. It is easy to see why Ron chose to make Souris his home.
Celebration of life was held on Friday October 6, 2023, at the Souris Legion. Private family gathering followed at the farm. Donations in Ron’s name gratefully accepted towards the Souris Railroad and Caboose museum, c/o Municipality of Souris-Glenwood, Box 518, Souris MB, R0K 2C0.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.