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John "Barry" Willmore

December 18, 1938 ~ November 28, 2018 (age 79)

“Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all.” – Laura Ingles Wilder

Our beloved father, grandfather, father-in-law, brother, uncle, friend passed away suddenly at home on Thursday, 28th November.

Barry was born in Toronto, Ontario, second in the family, the only boy with three sisters.  The first years of his life were spent moving back and forth across Canada to Vancouver, Midland, Orillia, Ocean Falls, Brantford, then back to Ocean Falls before landing and staying in Victoria in 1953.  As a young man he spent two summers shoveling coal on the ship “Estevan”, sailing up and down the wild coastline of BC.  This challenging but exceptional experience remained with him the rest of his life.

He met his wife Beverley, who predeceased him in 2008, at High School in Cordova Bay.  They married in 1959 and had their two daughters, Melanie and Leanne, in 1962 and 1965. Barry was industrious and had a strong work ethic, which he inherited from his father.  As a young parent he worked many hours at Robinson Sporting Goods before starting his own business, International Knives Limited (IKL), in 1976.  IKL eventually branched out to include a second shop, The Command Post.  Here Barry could indulge in his fascination for artefacts, becoming an avid collector of coins, badges, stamps, swords, plates, cups, knives, native artwork and any bit or bob that struck his fancy.  He had a lifelong curiosity for things, taking great delight in the search for “interesting treasures”.

In 1988 he sold IKL and in 1991 moved up island, initially to Parksville and ultimately to Coombs, where Barry and Bev fell in love with a plot of land and built their dream home.  Here they started Prancing Pony Gifts at the Coombs Market, where they worked until retirement in 2006.

In 1998 Bev and Barry took great delight in the birth of their only grandchild, Noah, and traveled multiple times to Europe to visit him in Switzerland and Spain.

Following Bev’s passing in 2008, Barry became involved in the local community and volunteered for 5 years as a driver for the Society of Organized Services (SOS), receiving a certificate recognizing his efforts.  He spent much time working on his property, which he adored. The closeness to the land undoubtedly gave him his greatest sense of fulfilment, and he loved nothing more than sharing a glass of red wine with his neighbours, watching the sun go down after a day spent mowing the grass or chopping wood, telling stories and jokes.

With family and friends he spent the last ten years traveling to Switzerland, Germany, Italy, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Cuba, Florida and California.  He loved going to theme parks and riding rollercoasters and waterslides, and he was working towards obtaining his motorcycle license, a goal set for turning 80.

Barry is lovingly remembered for his generosity, his sense of humour and mischief, his kindness, being a good friend, a hard worker, and his insistence that life was amusing and should be enjoyed.

A private Memorial Service will be held with family and close friends.  Instead of flowers, please send donations to:

SOS

Via their website: https://www.sosd69.com/

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