Cover photo for Louise Barry's Obituary
Louise Barry Profile Photo

Louise Barry

November 18, 1959 — June 5, 2024


Louise Barry

It is with broken hearts that Lynn and I announce the passing of our beloved big sister, Louise Barry. 

Louise lived a life worth recounting and remembering. She was a natural—one of those rare people who possessed a range of talents and abilities that brought her success in every endeavour she took on.

The Louise we remember was a musician, who completed 10 grades in The Royal Conservatory of Music program for piano before falling in love with the violin. Of course, Lou—being Lou—translated that passion into a successful audition with the prestigious Ottawa Youth Orchestra, and with it, the honour of being First Violin for their public performances.

The Louise we love was a proud Canadian who cherished her Francophone heritage, and early on, developed a passion for politics. As a student, she won the coveted role of intern at the Office of the Privy Council on Parliament Hill. 

In 1980, she volunteered for the Non campaign just prior to the referendum, going door to door to speak to Quebeckers about the benefits of remaining in Confederation. 

The Louise we honour excelled at sports and learning; a Scholar-Athlete who played field hockey for Queens University, where she graduated with distinction with a BA (Honours) Political Science, then went on to earn a law degree at Dalhousie University.

The Louise we cherish practiced Corporate and Commercial law for two years before taking a job at Queens Park in Toronto in the area closest to her heart: public policy. She was a Public Servant in the truest sense, one who worked tirelessly at the Ministry of the Attorney General to introduce legislation and social programs to improve life and social justice for Ontarians. 

The Louise we remember adored playing and watching tennis. For many years, she was a fixture at the Canadian open in Toronto and Montreal and rarely visited Lynn or me without having packed her tennis racquet.

The Louise we cherish loved books (especially mysteries) and foreign films, jigsaw puzzles and Carnation Instant Breakfasts. 

We remember our sister as a talented student, athlete and musician, a dedicated public servant by profession, a passionate, gifted teacher to her ESL students, a loyal, generous friend to those fortunate enough to know her, and of course, a devoted and loving daughter who provided incredible succor and support to our parents, Helen and Jim, right up to the very end of their lives.

All that remains is to remember Louise as a sister and Aunt, and this is where it becomes especially painful for Lynn and me. 

This is because, as talented as she was, Louise was especially good at being a big sister. It never mattered how far apart we might be geographically, or how busy life was, Louise always made time to visit, and stay connected to our lives. 

When life handed us our share of trials and tribulations, Louise was always there for us, never judging. Her love was unconditional.

Between visits, we were never far from Lou’s thoughts. Every birthday and Christmas and Easter would be preceded by gorgeous packages filled with carefully curated books and movies, Laura Secord chocolates, and myriad other goodies.

When Lynn and I each became parents, big sister Lou became Auntie Lou to Mackenzie and Conor. And in the early years of parenthood, when money was tight, those lovingly curated packages kept coming, except they now also contained the most gorgeous children’s books. 

I remember many of the titles to this day. Lou connected to us—her brother and sister—by gifting us with the means to connect with our children through stories, and in so doing, helped us instill in them a love of words and reading.

We will miss Louise sorely, and think of her often. She was a person to respect and look up to. She had honour and integrity. She was generous to a fault, talented, very bright, analytical, opinionated, and well-read. But in the end, what stands out most about our big sister is the sheer, magnificent breadth of love she showered on her family and the people she cared about.

May you rest in peace, Lou.


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