Obituary of Henry Joseph Barnett
Barnett, Henry J.M., MD, FRCP(C), CC
At Toronto on Thursday, October 20, 2016 Henry (known by friends as Barney and family as Boey), after 94 fearless and adventurous years, died peacefully in the company of family and caregivers. Predeceased by his beloved wife Kathleen (Gourlay), his parents Canon Thomas and Sadie (Macaulay) Barnett, and his siblings Tom, Doreen, Victor, and Ruth Stewart. Survived by his brother Doug and sister Mary Ranger. Deeply missed by his children Ann and David Love, Will and Frances (Brickenden) Barnett, Jane and Jim Drake, and Ian and Judy (Snowden) Barnett and by his grandchildren Melanie Love (Luke Racine), Jennifer Love (Mark Salmoni), Adrian Love, Gregory Barnett, Patrick Barnett (Jen Murphy), Stephanie Drake (Kai Byrom), Brian Drake (Roisin Osborne), Madeline Cesnauskas (Vygintas), Andrea Barnett (Ted Haywood Farmer), Brianna Martin (Shayne), Natalie Barnett (Billy Spensley), and Hilary Barnett (Cody Clifton). Great grandfather to Olivia, Evan, Mason, Sadie, Charlie, Zoe, Hugh, newborn twins Ruth and Catherine, Sylvie, Sawyer, Myka, and Rhys.
Born in Newcastle–Upon-Tyne, England, he immigrated to Canada at age 3. A defining moment occurred when, as a boy rambling around the marshes at Ashbridges Bay in Toronto, he chanced upon two ornithologists who showed him a hoary redpoll through binoculars. From then on birds, natural science, and eventually medical science captivated him. He graduated from U of T medical school in 1944, where he met a beautiful nurse, Kathleen, whom he married. He continued his studies in Toronto; Queen’s Square, London; and Oxford, specializing in neurology, which he practised and taught for over 45 years in Toronto and then London, Ontario. His clinical research led him to contribute to scientific knowledge on stroke prevention, early detection, clinical care, and treatment for which he received acclaim and prizes worldwide, among the most meaningful for him being an honorary doctorate of letters from Oxford, the Karolinska Stroke Award for Excellence in Stroke Research in Stockholm, and the Companion of the Order of Canada.
In later life he pursued his passion for the natural world as a volunteer advocate with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) for the Happy Valley Forest in King Township, Ontario. He bought property there when his children were young and used the forest, ponds, and meadows to pass on his and Granny Kay’s delight in Nature to the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
The family is grateful for his time at the Claremont. The entire staff were kind and attentive, especially Lynn and Natalie. Laterally he had wonderful caregivers, and “The Team” of Trisha, Raquel, Beverley, Michael, Perlie, and Joy. Their skill and humour kept his spirits up.
The family will receive friends at the HUMPHREY FUNERAL HOME A.W. MILES – NEWBIGGING CHAPEL, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville Avenue) from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 28th. An intimate family service will be held. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his memory to Nature Conservancy of Canada http://www.natureconservancy.ca/donate, or the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca . Condolences, photographs and memories may be forwarded through www.humphreymilesnewbigging.com.