On Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007, Leona Barr, 73, and her youngest son, Thomas Joseph Barr, 40, both former residents of Atikokan, Ont., were involved in a motor vehicle collision in Kamloops, B.C.
Leona lost her life in the collision while Tom succumbed to his injuries on Monday, Oct. 22 at the Royal Inland Hospital.
Leona was born June 17, 1934 in Fort Frances, Ont. to the late Thomas Godin and Pierrine Jourdain. She quickly became the spoiled baby of numerous siblings.
Leona developed into a spiritual and physically strong woman. In the early 1950s, she lugged logs at the Sapawe mill until she married the late Ronald Charles Barr in 1955.
They remained in the Fort Frances area for the next six years until they moved to Atikokan when Ron found permanent employment at the Sapawe lumber mill.
By 1967, they were the proud parents of seven healthy children.
Leona was a hard-working, energetic, and immaculate homemaker. She was totally committed to Ron and their sports-minded children. If not an active participant in family sporting events, she was the most dedicated and “loudest” fan.
After her children were grown, Leona worked at various jobs around the area. They included Quetico North, Sapawe Corner, Atikokan Forest Products (prep-cook in the bush camp), and flagging for different construction companies.
Leona also was an active volunteer in the community. She was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Ladies of the Moose, Riverview United Church, Pioneer Centre, and the ANFC Lifelong Care Group.
Leona lived life to the fullest. She loved to dance and sing, and was well-known in her younger years as being the “Step Dancing” queen. Her overwhelming smile and zest for life will be missed the most. She had a lot of love to give and was loved by many.
Tom was born a New Year’s baby in the Atikokan General Hospital on Jan. 1, 1967. At that time, the Barr family lived in Sapawe.
Although the youngest child, Tom quickly developed into a good athlete like his older siblings. During his childhood, Tom actively participated in unorganized sports leagues in Sapawe, on various sports teams representing the Atikokan public schools, and in the Atikokan YBC.
Although a regular student, Tom’s interest in education did not peak until Grade 9, when he entered and completed four years in the Alternative Education program at Atikokan High School.
Tom was hard-working and committed to any task he undertook. During and following high school, he worked in food services for many years.
He remained in Sapawe with his parents until 1995, when his father passed away. Shortly thereafter, Tom re-located to Atikokan with Leona. At that time, Tom’s interest in education was at an all-time high when he embarked on a lengthy educational journey.
In 1996, Tom continued and successfully completed his Atikokan High School diploma. From 1997-99, Tom completed a Correctional Worker program at Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie. In 1999, he then attained a certificate in Cruise Career Training from Keiser College in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
From 2000-02, Tom successfully completed the Police Foundations program at Contact North in Atikokan. By 2002, he had moved to Prescott, Ont. to pursue a career in law and security.
During his spare time, Tom was actively involved in various sports leagues in Atikokan and other communities. Tom played broomball, baseball, volleyball, and bowling.
Although unsettled as to a chosen career path, Tom remained committed to providing companionship to his mother. Because he considered Leona his best friend, Tom returned to Atikokan in 2005 to care for her.
They travelled together and resided in numerous communities until their deaths.
Leona and Tom were predeceased by parents/grandparents, Thomas and Pierrine; brother/uncle, Randall Godin; and sisters/aunts, Mary (Dina) Stevens and Alma Brouffle.
They also were predeceased by husband/father, Ronald Barr Sr.; and two sons/brothers, Angus and Ron Barr Jr.
They are survived by a daughter/sister, Gisel and in-law, Dennis McCarthy, of Atikokan, Ont., a second daughter/sister, Elaine and partner, Lara Polite of Sioux Lookout, Ont., eldest remaining son/brother, Harold of Thunder Bay, Ont., and youngest son/brother, Glen and in-law, Phylis Barr, of Atikokan, Ont.; nine grandchildren/nieces/nephews, Sheri, Jennifer, Jessie, Tanis, Rian, Harley, Natasha, Raven, and Savannah; and six great grandchildren/relatives, Matthew, Tyler, Zachary, Jacob, Milla, and Hayley.
Also surviving are two sisters/aunts, Jane Jones of Thunder Bay, Ont. and Nora Lyons of Kamloops, B.C.; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Memorial services were held Friday, Nov. 2, 2007 at 1 p.m. at the Riverview United Church in Atikokan, officiated by Rev. Gord Waldie.
Interment followed at the Little Falls Cemetery in Atikokan.
In memoriam donations may be made to the Atikokan General Hospital.