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.
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 ..love to all from Emily from Bernard Anderson floral wholesale. Calgary
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.
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss Karen and to your family. My sincere condolences!!
Our heartfelt condolences Karen and Family.
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,
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.
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
What a lovely message about an interesting well lived life. Thinking of you Karen at this sad time, and wish you peace and comfort.
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
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
Karen, Branden, Liz, and Charlton family,
Please accept our heartfelt condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
The Production Canada family
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...
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.
To Karen and family,
Warm thoughts to you all
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Deepest condolences to Branden and family.
With you in spirit.
Jim and Alison Reid, Toronto
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
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
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
Our deepest condolences. Our grandchildren loved him, he was such a good neighbour to them!
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.
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.
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
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.
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 --
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
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!
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.
Karen, my sincere, though belated condolences regarding Barry’s unfortunate passing. Our best wishes as you and your family adjust to this sad reality.
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.