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Obituary - Barry Charlton

Barry Charlton

1951 - 2018

Cook Southland Funeral Chapel - Charlton(2018)

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of Barry Charlton’s passing at the age of 67 years after losing his valiant battle with multiple sclerosis. Barry passed away on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, with his family by his side.

Barry will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Karen; son, Branden (Elizabeth Nutting); sisters, Roberta McDonald, Catherine Glover (Barry) and Dixie Duff as well as his sister-in-law, Maureen Moss. Barry was predeceased by his parents, Robert and Elsa Charlton, in-laws, Harold “Sparkie” and Edith Sparks and brothers-in-law, Dennis Moss and Brent McDonald.

Born on April 29, 1951 and raised in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Barry was a graduate of Medicine Hat High School, where he met his high school sweetheart, Karen Sparks. After high school both Karen and Barry moved to Calgary to attend the University of Calgary, where Barry graduated with his Bachelor of Education. Karen and Barry were married after his university graduation on August 25, 1973, in Medicine Hat and welcomed their son, Branden, into the world on March 26, 1980.

Both Barry and Karen started their careers in Hilda, Alberta where they taught for two years. As Karen’s career with the City of Medicine Hat began, Barry transferred schools and spent the majority of his teaching career at Irvine School, teaching generations of children for nearly 30 years. His last years of teaching were spent in Redcliff at the Margaret Wooding School. In addition to his role as a grade five teacher, Barry also taught art where he could allow his creativity to shine. Starting with gluesticks and safety scissors, Barry ended up teaching art using digital technology while he taught schools remotely in rural communities throughout Alberta.

After retiring from teaching, Barry launched his second career, opening Fresh Flowers and Gifts in 2007. Offering Medicine Hat a fresh new perspective on floral design, Barry’s creativity and customer service built a devoted customer base and Fresh Flowers was recognized as the Best Florist in Medicine Hat in 2013 and 2014. Barry’s favourite part, of course, was working on weddings, knowing that he could make the bride’s day with stunning flowers. It wasn’t until Barry was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2015 that he had to sell his beloved shop.

Barry spent the last years of his life with friends and family travelling to places like New York City, Paris, France and Canmore, Alberta. His most memorable trip was to London, England for the royal wedding (which happened to coincide with his 60th birthday).

Barry led a beautiful life filled with creativity and laughter, always reminding us “earth laughs in flowers.” A graveside service will be held at Hillside Cemetery on Monday, July 9, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. where we can all fondly remember Barry as the life of the party. A reception will be held thereafter at Cook Southland Funeral Chapel, Reception Facility, 901 - 13 Street S.W. Those wishing to attend the interment are asked to meet at Cook Southland Funeral Chapel, by 10:45 a.m to join the procession to Hillside Cemetery.


  1. Emily Fleming:
    Jul 04, 2018 at 06:25 PM

    In loving memory of a great man florist and customer ..I truly enjoyed the times taking orders laughing and chit chating with Barry. He always made your day better for sure ..I know he will be truly missed by all that knew him to all from Emily from Bernard Anderson floral wholesale. Calgary

  2. Vicki Thome:
    Jul 05, 2018 at 09:57 AM

    2705-McCaig Cres.S.E.
    So very sorry to read of Barry's passing. Barry was a kind, gentle and funny soul who will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Karen, Branden & family at this very sad time.

  3. Helena Torgerson:
    Jul 05, 2018 at 10:25 AM

    I'm so sorry to hear of your loss Karen and to your family. My sincere condolences!!

  4. Sheila & Brian Schwab:
    Jul 05, 2018 at 10:49 AM

    Our heartfelt condolences Karen and Family.

  5. Richard Worden:
    Jul 05, 2018 at 11:56 AM

    Dear Karen and family;
    I want to extend to you and the family my condolences on Barry's passing. The obituary really captures his wonderful nature. I know from past experience how much his students loved and admired him. With my prayers and thoughts,

  6. Jane Dreger:
    Jul 05, 2018 at 12:01 PM

    Today I cried. Loss of youth, loss of time, loss of a wonderful childhood friend. Barry, wherever you are, I know the place is more vibrant with you there. Keep 'em laughing old friend.

  7. Richard Thornton:
    Jul 05, 2018 at 01:13 PM

    Karen and family:
    Sorry to hear of Barry's passing. The obituary spells out a wonderful life, touching so many children, people and friends in so many ways. He will be remembered by many! We hope your memories will help to carry you all through a difficult time. Hugs.
    Glenda & Richard Thornton

  8. Brandy:
    Jul 05, 2018 at 01:55 PM

    What a lovely message about an interesting well lived life. Thinking of you Karen at this sad time, and wish you peace and comfort.

  9. Ingrid Bizio & Family:
    Jul 05, 2018 at 02:07 PM

    Dear Karen and family,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I only knew Barry from "Fresh" and I appreciated his incredible artistic talent and his, always, sunny disposition!

    Thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.

    Ingrid Bizio and Family

  10. admin:
    Jul 05, 2018 at 03:08 PM

    Karen and Family,
    Our deepest sympathy on the passing of a great guy! I know that the
    pain and hurt has hounded him but now he is free of all of it. But
    each time we met him he had a big smile on his face. His flower
    arrangements used by us were fantastic -- what a creative person!!
    Our thoughts and prayers will be with you all in the days and weeks ahead.
    Ken and Valerie

  11. Chris Buss:
    Jul 05, 2018 at 04:03 PM

    Karen, Branden, Liz, and Charlton family,
    Please accept our heartfelt condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    The Production Canada family

  12. Adele Henderson:
    Jul 05, 2018 at 09:18 PM

    To the Charlton Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope that being around family and friends, and sharing memories brings you comfort in the days ahead.
    Now that we live in Medicine Hat, I think of you all often, whenever I drive by your previous home on first street. Barry was always so welcoming...with that huge smile!
    I am sorry I cannot be there for the service, I am out of the country. I'll be thinking of you...

  13. Susan Alward and Bonnie Warren:
    Jul 06, 2018 at 08:47 AM

    Dear Karen,
    Bonnie and I were so so sad to hear about Barry's passing. I am so glad we were able to visit this wonderful charming man last summer. It meant a lot to me. We may not have seen much of each other over the years, living so far away, but you both always held a very special place in my heart. I am not sure if you knew that. Any time in our family we talked about "Karen & Barry" it would make me smile. That is what you both did for me. I am happy to know that Barry is not suffering any more but he will be greatly missed. Lots of love to you Karen and also to Brandon.

  14. Sadie Alward:
    Jul 06, 2018 at 09:34 AM

    To Karen and family,

    Warm thoughts to you all


  15. Mary-Lee Blemings:
    Jul 06, 2018 at 01:17 PM

    Dave and I send our sincere condolences. So sad to hear that Barry has passed. I always enjoyed his cheery company the year I taught with him. Always positive and kind. Very sorry for your loss.
    Mary-Lee Blemings.

  16. Susan Getz:
    Jul 06, 2018 at 03:35 PM

    My sincerest condolences Karen. May all your wonderful memories carry you through this difficult time. Thinking of you with a heavy heart and wishing you peace and comfort.

  17. Tannis Arsenault:
    Jul 06, 2018 at 11:43 PM

    Sad to hear the news of Barry passing. He was a wonderful teacher and man. I was very fortunate to have had him teach me in Irvine.

  18. Marilyn Heckbert:
    Jul 07, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    So sorry to hear of Barry's passing. He was simply a really good man. He will long be remembered as a kind, caring, funny and creative soul. Thinking of you Karen. Mar

  19. Linda (Davies) Matsumoto:
    Jul 07, 2018 at 02:08 PM

    I taught with Barry for 8 years at Irvine School. As a colleague, he was always helpful and supportive. His creative abilities were always at work in the classroom and the school. His dedication to his work shone - arriving early and leaving later than most. I will always think of him whenever I look for roses that will bloom the longest.
    My condolences, Karen and family. Know that Barry was one of those unique and memorable personalities that make life worth while.
    Linda Matsumoto

  20. Jim Reid:
    Jul 07, 2018 at 02:25 PM

    Deepest condolences to Branden and family.
    With you in spirit.

    Jim and Alison Reid, Toronto

  21. Ron and Leann Webb:
    Jul 07, 2018 at 09:05 PM

    Our sincerest condolences and our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Karen. May all the memories of the fun times you had as a couple and family help you through this difficult time of loss and remembrance.
    Ron and Leann

  22. Doreen Irving:
    Jul 08, 2018 at 06:40 PM

    My heartfelt condolences go out to Karen and Branden. I am so sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful person and will be remembered by all who knew him. Treasure your memories! Doreen

  23. Rod Thurlow/Janice Tidy:
    Jul 08, 2018 at 10:25 PM

    Dear Karen and Family,
    So sorry to hear of Barry's passing. You always looked so happy together. The obituary was a beautiful tribute.
    Rod and Janice

  24. Sylvia and Elgin Hornung:
    Jul 09, 2018 at 09:29 AM

    Our deepest condolences. Our grandchildren loved him, he was such a good neighbour to them!

  25. Darren and Rose Ann Rud:
    Jul 09, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Karen, Brandon and family, our most sincere condolences on Barry's passing. The wonderful obituary captures the kind, happy, creative nature of the man Barry was. While we are grateful that his pain is gone we grieve for your loss. May your memories of Barry carry you through the difficult times.

  26. Ralph and Val Browne:
    Jul 09, 2018 at 02:25 PM

    Karen and family-
    We are sorry to hear of your family's great loss. Barry was a lovely, creative man who abundantly shared his talents and time with our community. May cherished memories bring your family comfort.

  27. Mike Bordun:
    Jul 09, 2018 at 08:16 PM

    To Karen, Branden and Family

    On behalf of Andrea and myself, our deepest condolences for your loss. Barry was greatly admired and respected by all those he taught and by all who had the privilege of working with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time

    Mike Bordun

  28. Don and Cynthia Smith:
    Jul 09, 2018 at 10:15 PM

    Cynthia and I were shocked when we arrived home from vacation to hear Barry had passed. We have so many memories of Barry. He was one of those rare people who would never let you down. Whether as a teacher or florist, Barry placed connecting with one another and holding onto those relationships as his number one priority. Our prayers and thoughts are with you Karen as you and your family move through this valley. He will be missed, but his legacy will be forever.

  29. Doreen Judge:
    Jul 09, 2018 at 10:43 PM

    Dear Karen and family ,

    It is with great sadness that I read of Barry's passing ---
    An extra ordinary man who left his mark and a smile with all whom he encountered and in all that he contributed- in his profession and through the creativity of his passion in the floral industry.

    Wishing to extend my most heartfelt sympathies and sincere condolences at this very sad and difficult time.
    May your precious memories offer daily comforts and peace ...along with many reflective smiles --

  30. admin:
    Jul 13, 2018 at 05:13 PM

    Thank you Karen and Family. Please accept my deepest condolences. I was saddened to hear of Barry’s passing. Losing a loved one is always difficult. My thoughts are with you during this challenging time. I will always remember Barry as an energetic, creative and fun person. He will be deeply missed by all. May the care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. If there is any way I can be of help please let me know. Cal Hauserman

  31. Kay and Larry Bonneville:
    Jul 14, 2018 at 11:29 AM

    Thinking of you and your family, Karen, at this time of profound loss. Barry was the classical nice person who led a productive and creative life. His memory will long prevail. Best wishes to you as you adapt to a new reality. Cheers!

  32. admin:
    Aug 01, 2018 at 10:43 AM

    I remember Barry & yourself attending MHHS. We shared many a class together.
    I will always remember the humour Barry & you brought to our classes.
    My regards to you & your family as you travel this next part of life's journey.
    My wish is for you recalling the many wonderful memories you've all gathered through the years.
    My hope is you recall those memory building moments when you need them most.
    My belief is these memories will bring warmth & peace to both your soul & mind in the days & years to come.

    You shall be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Warmest Regards
    Heather Brookwell-Reuber
    (nee Reuber)

  33. Larry Bonneville:
    Aug 21, 2018 at 02:40 PM

    Karen, my sincere, though belated condolences regarding Barry’s unfortunate passing. Our best wishes as you and your family adjust to this sad reality.

  34. Christine Sonnleitner (Dupras):
    Jan 28, 2019 at 06:00 PM

    I am so sorry to hear this, he was a wonderful teacher. I remember how much he helped me grow and feel confident. He was my grade 5 teacher at Irvine school years ago but I will never forget how amazing he was. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

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