Robert (Bob) Leo Barry
May 25 1935 – July 31 2020
After a courageous battle with cancer, Robert Leo Barry (Bob) took his final flight on Friday July 31st 2020 with his family by his side.
He is pre-deceased by his parents Leo & Edith, his brother Bruce and his granddaughter Victoria. He is survived by his twin brother Bill (Dorothy), brother Bert (Patricia), wife Arlene, children Brenda (Ralph), Cheryl (Sheldon) and Robert (Laura), his grandchildren Craig, Andrew, Trevor, Clay & Kaycee, his great grandchildren Shaylee, Annabelle and many nieces and nephews.
Bob was born May 25th 1935 in Iroquois Falls, Ontario. Upon finishing school, he joined the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in the Canadian Army.
His army basic training was held in Vimy Barracks, Kingston, ON where he became a Radio Operator. His first posting was to #1 Airborne Signals Squadron, Royal Canadian Corps Signals, Barriefield, ON and he completed his Parachute training at the Canadian Joint Air Training Center, Rivers, MB in September 1954. He made 14 jumps. His next posting was to Vancouver Wireless Station in Ladner, BC where he was for 3 years.
He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force Reserve, 442 City of Vancouver Squadron, and was sent to Centralia, ON for flying training on the DHC 1 Chipmunk. From Centralia, he went onto Moosejaw, SK on the ‘yellow peril’, the Harvard Aircraft, and then onto Saskatoon, SK, for training on the Beechcraft Expeditor aircraft. He received his RCAF Pilot’s Wings on March 13 1959. He transferred from the RCAF reserve to the regular force and was transferred to the Air Observer School (AOS) in Winnipeg, MB, arriving April 1 1959.
He flew the Douglas DC3 Dakota at AOS for 2 years and was then posted to the 111KU Search & Rescue Unit where he flew the Dakota, The DHC3 Otter on Skis, wheels and floats, and also flew part time on the Lancaster and the Sikorski H34A Helicopter. He was OIC Para Rescue for a while and jumped the Search & Rescue lads out of the Otter and the Dakota.
In June 1963 he was posted to the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) El Arish Egypt, to fly the Dakota, DHC4 Caribou and the otter for the UN and after a year he was posted back to Canada in 1964 to the now renamed Air Navigation School in Winnipeg to fly the Dakota. He took early retirement in 1966 having devoted 13+ years to the military.
In the summer of 1966 he flew a DC3 for the Hudson’s Bay Company and in October he was hired by Air Canada. He trained on the VC9 Vickers Vanguard aircraft in Montreal and was posted back in Winnipeg. He flew the Vanguard until 1969 when he changed to the Douglas DC9. He flew the DC9 for 17 years and retired in 1985, having flown 20 years for Air Canada.
He was hired by Wardair and flew the Airbus A310 out of Toronto, ON until Wardair was bought by PWA Corp and was then transferred to Edmonton where he flew the Boeing 737 for Canadian Airlines. His 737 flying was all domestic including, with Canadian North, into many of the Northern Canadian Stations such as Yellowknife, Inuvik, Iqaluit etc. He was laid off in 1993, so he got a job flying the Airbus A310 for Alyemda Yemen Airlines in Aden, Yemen, and was re-hired by Canadian Airlines, back on the 737 in Edmonton.
When old age (60) came along in 1995, he retired from Canadian Airlines. Not being one to sit idle, he got a job in the summer of 1995, flying the Dakota for Plummer’s Lodges at Great Bear Lake, NWT. For a number of trips he picked up US President George H. W. Bush in Yellowknife, NWT and flew him and his entourage to a few fishing lodges and back to Yellowknife. He even had President Bush as his co-pilot on a trip to Tree River Lodge. They had a good chat and he just happened to have a Tree River Lodge Sweatshirt in his flight bag, and when he gave it to the President, the President gave him a Presidential Pen.
Throughout the years, his love of flying stretched into Gliders as well, and he spent many hours/days/weeks in Gliding Ports throughout North America and in Germany.
After 38 years and some 21,000 flying hours, he hung up his wings. He says that he never worked a day in his life. It was all fun (except jumping out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft), and he would not have changed it for the world.
As per Bob’s wishes, there will be no formal service. If you wish, a donation can be made in Bob’s name to the Riverview Palliative Care 3E, Winnipeg, MB https://www.rhc.mb.ca/index.php/donate/ or to Grace Hospice, Winnipeg, MB https://www.gracehospitalfoundation.ca/donate-now/
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee, Jr.