On October 5th Vernon Wesley Barr died unexpectedly but peacefully, close to his home in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where he and his wife Ruth (née Sawyer) of nearly 72 years have lived for the past 15 years. Verne was born on November 11th, 1921, in Coburn, York County, New Brunswick, but lived most of his life in St. Stephen, NB. Both Verne and Ruth are World War II veterans and maintained strong links with the Canadian Legion. Verne joined the 3rd Canadian Division (Signals Corps) in June 1940 and sailed for Britain aboard the SS Orion in July, 1941. He was in the first wave of the Normandy invasion on June 6th, 1944, and was wounded and decorated during the subsequent liberation of Holland.
After the war Verne and Ruth returned to St. Stephen where he initially worked for himself and with his father repairing car radiators and honing his exceptional lifelong mechanical and do-it-yourself skills. He joined the Canadian Department of Immigration in 1952 as an Immigration Officer at the border crossing with Calais, Maine, and eventually became Officer-in-Charge. After his retirement in 1987, he and Ruth enjoyed many years exploring North America in their motorhome with their dogs Robbie and Charlie. They moved to Wolfville in 2002 to be close to their daughter. Recent milestones include Verne's return to France in 2014 for the 70th D-Day commemoration and Ruth and Verne's 70th wedding anniversary celebration in 2015. Despite a few mobility issues in recent years, he retained to the very end his lifelong wit, charm, enthusiasm and optimism, and became well-known in Wolfville as he rode his electric scooter around town to walk their schnauzer Skipper. To his family and many friends, Verne will always be remembered for his engaging personality and apparently endless supply of always amusing and often colourful anecdotes. Verne was predeceased by his parents Jessie (MacDonald) and Hanford Barr, and by his sister Vivian and brother Francis. He is survived by his wife Ruth and children Sandra and Peter Barr and Michael Neilan, as well as 4 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren, his niece Pam and nephew Greg. Donations would be welcomed by the Valley WAAG Animal Shelter in Wolfville, or any branch of the SPCA. Condolences are to Ruth Barr, PO Box 3403, Wolfville, NS, B4P 1B7 or firstname.lastname@example.org.