OBITUARY

Douglas Fleming Barbour

March 21, 1940September 25, 2021

Family, friends, and colleagues of Edmonton poet and critic, Douglas Barbour are mourning his loss. He died at home on September 25th at the age of 81. He is survived by his wife, Sharon; his nephews Greg Barbour (Monica, Anja, Kael) and Jay Barbour (Anne, Gerritt); his godchildren, Annie Beard and Michael Beard (Sanja, Daniel, Lukas); and a wide family of friends and relatives.

A professor at the University of Alberta for many years, he was an active member of the Edmonton literary community, supporting local events and poets, and bringing in readers, often putting them up, to share with his community. As cofounder of NeWest Press, he was a supporter of Western Canadian writers; as a poet, he was an ambassador for Canadian poetry in his national and international reading tours. He was in contact with fellow poets around the world until his death.

In 2003, Douglas was inaugurated into the City of Edmonton Hall of Fame. In 2018, he was given a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contribution to Canadian literature by the Alberta Book Publishers Association. Just recently, the Association renamed the speculative fiction award the Douglas Barbour Speculative Fiction award in recognition of his critical contributions to the field of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Doug was extremely grateful for the care he received from Alberta’s healthcare workers who, despite their almost untenable situation, treated him with compassion and grace.

He himself is being remembered by many for his generosity, his kindness, and his joyous engagement with life: art, music, poetry, and everyone around him.

A Memorial for Doug will be held at 5 p.m., October 14, 2021 at Hainstock’s Funeral Home, 9810 34 Ave. NW, followed by a small reception. The memorial will be live streamed: https://view.oneroomstreaming.com/authorise.php?k=1633405763140505

In lieu of flowers, anyone wanting to is asked to donate to a charity of their choice.

Hainstock’s Funeral Home & Crematorium is participating in Alberta’s restriction exemption program. All individuals attending indoor funeral services will be required to provide COVID – 19 proof of vaccination or proof of a privately-paid negative rapid test result taken within 72 hours of service, or documentation of medical exemption.

Memories

Douglas Fleming Barbour

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Maurice and Mary Ann Legris

October 14, 2021

Dear Sharon,
We have known a good man, but now we are left with memories.
Doug's influence has marked many in a variety of ways, not the least of which was his constant good humor and his desire to help where he could.
We couldn't attend the funeral because of illness, but his infectious attitude toward life will long remain with us.
With our most sincere good wishes,
Maurice and Mary Ann Legris

Jars Balan

October 14, 2021

Dear Sharon and family,

I was sad to learn of Doug's passing, and want to take this opportunity to extend my condolences to you at this difficult time. I had the good fortune of having Doug serve as one of my grad supervisors, along with Stephen Scobie and Walter Jungkind, and am grateful for the chance that it gave me to get to know him as a mentor, poet and friend. I greatly enjoyed sharing my poetic passions with him, as he was always supportive and open to new ideas. As everyone who knew him knows well, he was generous, kind, and open to literary adventures. Although too many years have gone by since we last crossed paths, I will continue to carry with me many fond memories of Doug. May he rest in peace , Jars

Prince R O

October 13, 2021

Dear Sharon,

The University Hospital Foundation is saddened to hear of Doug's passing. Your family's generosity to patients, families and in advancing health here at the U of A hospital site goes back many years. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. May you find strength in the wonderful memories you created with Doug.

Prince

George Melnyk

October 10, 2021

Julia and I were saddened to learn of Doug's passing. He was a kind, considerate, and supportive individual who was a fine poet, an accomplished teacher, and a powerful presence on the literary scene in Alberta. We remember fondly his spoken word performances with Stephen Scobie and we appreciate all he did including contributing financially to the start up of NeWest Press in the mid-1970s. He served a long tenure on its editorial board (over 40 years!) including many years as the firm's president.

With his passing we recognize how important members of the University of Alberta English Department were in generating and sustaining literary culture in Edmonton. He exemplified their commitment, talent and generosity.

George Melnyk

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY