In Memory of




Obituary for William Carl Barlow

William Carl Barlow

Following a long battle with cancer and with his wife Jocelyn at his side, William Carl Barlow, known to many as Bill, passed away at the Gimli Community Health Centre on December 19, 2023.

Gimli was his home. When he took a teaching job in Gimli in 1969, he knew he wanted to stay, and that was a good thing. During his teaching career at Gimli High School, he not only taught English and Political Studies, but he also directed the school Drama Club, and was instrumental in starting the school band. The family has received many, many messages from former students and colleagues highlighting the positive impact he had on them. His specialty and greatest interest as an educator was teaching the works of William Shakespeare, with whom he was proud to share a first name.

In 1980 Bill was first elected to the Town Council. This was the beginning of a long career in municipal and provincial politics. He became mayor in 1989 and held the office until 2002. He returned to Town Council for one term in 2006. As a result of the many strong relationships he built in that capacity, he was appointed to serve on several provincial boards and committees such as the Lake Winnipeg Stewardship Board, the Manitoba Municipal Board, and the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium. Bill was appreciated for his skill as a consensus builder.

Bill was born in Edmonton on July 15, 1943, the first of two sons of Benjamin and Florence Barlow. He is survived by his brother David (Diana). Job transfers moved the family first to Regina and then to Winnipeg when he was 12 years old. He was a student at Tech Voc where he participated in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, sparking a lifelong interest in the performing arts. As a child in the Salvation Army, he learned to play multiple brass instruments, and continued to do so throughout his life, most recently playing with the Rupertsland Brass Band for over 20 years. He studied Political Science at United College and completed his Bachelor of Education at the University of Manitoba in 1970.

It was while he was teaching at Gimli Composite High School that he met his future wife, Jocelyn Hettich, a fellow teacher. They were married in 1977 and had four children, Eliza Jane (Brookes), Jacqueline Kate, April Sarah and Geoffrey William (Shannon). Each of his four grandchildren, Fenton, Angus, Matilda and Benjamin, enjoyed a special relationship with their grandpa. All of his other accomplishments paled in comparison to the joy he took in being a husband, father and grandfather. His children all said he was the best dad.

A funeral service was held in Fraserwood on December 28th, followed by a burial in Gimli Cemetery.

Bill received excellent care from medical professionals in Gimli and Winnipeg. The family is particularly grateful to Julie, Tanis and Amanda at Cancer Care, and Doctors Patel, Viallet, Butler, Wong and Ade.

Bill had a deep concern for the environment and the health of Lake Winnipeg. A recent project, led by Bill and which will continue in his honour, is the Gimli Waterfront Wetland Interpretive Centre. Donations may be made in Bill’s memory to this project, care of the RM of Gimli. The RM accepts cash, cheque and debit at the Municipal Office, 62 2nd Avenue, Gimli. Cheques may be mailed to RM of Gimli, P.O. Box 1246, Gimli, MB, R0C 1B0. E-transfers can be sent to email; enter Interpretive Centre Donation in the comment section. For the e-transfer password, contact the RM via the above email or call 204-642-6650.