It is difficult to summarize Barry’s journey through life and the qualities he had that allowed him to touch so many lives. He had a very special way of understanding and empathizing with those around him and he made many deep connections with countless people in the community, young and old. He was a leader when he needed to be, a hard-working volunteer, a role model to several, and was always joking and putting smiles on the faces of acquaintances. He made countless lifelong friends along his journey and he will be sorely missed.
Barry passed away on January 15, 2021 after a brief illness. A devoted family man, he was a loving husband of 53 years to wife Heather, supportive dad to daughter Jane, son Brad and son-in-law Sean, proud gramps to Braden, Kaylee, Sofia and Jack, all of whom miss him deeply. He will also be missed by sisters-in-law Joan MacKenzie (Toronto) and Bonnie Doxey (Burlington), nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Barry was predeceased by parents Margaret and Robert “Bob” Jesson, former Stratford Fire Chief, and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Ken and Pat MacKenzie (Kingston).
Barry worked at Canadian Fabricated for over 30 years and lasting friendships forged over those years brought many happy memories and satisfaction.
As a life-long resident of Stratford, he shared his talents and his civic pride by volunteering in various pursuits. Many years were spent coaching hockey and baseball yet his numerous successes were by far overshadowed by the relationships he established with the players he mentored and who have credited him with valuable life-lessons he instilled in them.
In 2005, the Year of the Veteran, Barry put together an event to honour our local veterans, in which he paired a veteran with an interested volunteer to go out for lunch. The event was highly appreciated by all those who participated, and new friendships were made. He also organized a large event in Stratford so his community could meet a former FBI agent who had been the lead investigator for many of the major bombing incidents in the world. While golfing on vacation, he by chance met the agent, and as Barry was wont to do, quickly struck up a friendship. He was mesmerized by the agent’s stories and decided to organize a speaking engagement in Stratford so the agent could share his stories with our community. Both of these events were time-consuming to plan, but Barry was determined to make them happen. He truly loved his community.
The Stratford Parks Board and the Meals on Wheels program were ways he could offer his time to the city, and so he did. He also served on many committees within St. Andrew’s Church.
Anyone who knew Barry well was aware of his loyalty to the Cleveland Indians, his team through thick and thin. The impending name change would have caused a major wardrobe overhaul.
Barry loved people and people loved him back. He was caring and had a sincere honest approach that resonated immediately. He could always find a nickname for you that, like it or not, would stick. He was a Forever Friend, maintaining contact regularly, and was always there for you, reaching out and checking in, especially when times were tough.
Memorial donations can be directed to St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Rotary Hospice, or a charity of your choice through the W.G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford. 519.271.7411 www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com
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W.G. Young Funeral Home
430 Huron Street
Stratford, Ontario N5A 5T7
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