Barnard, Wilbur Thomas

Wilbur Thomas Barnard passed away on Friday, April 13, 2012 at the Coronation Hospital and Care Centre, Coronation Alberta at the age of 79 years, just nine days short of his 80th birthday.  Wilbur was born in Grandpa and Grandma Caseley’s log house on the farm north east of Coronation on April 22, 1932. He was the second son born to Roy and Edna (Caseley) Barnard. Wilbur had one sibling, his brother Victor. Wilbur was born on the farm and remained on the farm all his life. Wilbur’s father passed away in 1952 at the age of 51 and due to health problems he wasn’t able to work since 1942. Edna and the boys took over the farming operation, even though the boys were quite young at that time they stuck it out and were very successful farmers in the area.

Wilbur attended school at Pleasant Heights School which was about three miles south of their farm. Wilbur was very gifted with his hands.  He could build and repair almost anything. He made use of every scrap of metal and wood to fix pretty much everything. Wilbur did a lot of welding as well. Some things he built over the years consisted of a water well drilling machine, snow blower for the back of the tractor, a sleigh for the snowmobile to haul feed to the cows, a three wheeled trike with a small cultivator for the garden. The trike sold at the farm sale for $900.
Also they built a grain dryer which dried a lot of grain that they operated at three cents a bushel; that was back when natural gas was cheap. Wilbur had a gift; he was very successful at witching for water. Wilbur and a willow branch would set out on foot onto the land and he would walk around with this branch and when the branch started to move he knew there was water below. They would then drill and guess what? They hit water!
Wilbur was always proud of their farm and the excellent crops they grew. He loved the land and growing vegetables in his garden. The potatoes, carrots, peas, corn and beans were a whole crop themselves. Wilbur spent lots of time in the kitchen with his mother, learning how to cook and can vegetables and fruit.  After Edna passed away in 1985, Wilbur was the head cook and Victor was more than happy to let him take over the kitchen. Wilbur canned hundreds of jars of almost every kind of fruit and vegetables; he even tried canning potatoes one spring.
They had lots of potatoes left from the fall so Wilbur decided to can them. He got a lot of jars of potatoes and after a few days they could smell this terrible odor and thought at first the deep freeze had quit working, but they finally discovered the potatoes had gone rotten in the jars and needless to say Wilbur never tried canning potatoes again.  Wilbur and Victor sold the farm in 1989 and moved into Coronation. The house was just perfect for them as there was nothing but open fields to the north with beautiful views of the country side. Still gave them a sense of the country life they were accustomed to as they had lived on the farm all their lives.
This was a big move with some mixed feelings and emotions but he adjusted very well. They were barely settled in their new home when the doorbell started to ring as someone needed repairs. Wilbur and Victor had a small engine repair shop in their garage which kept them very busy; which they decided to close in 2007.
Family get togethers were very important to Wilbur; he always looked forward to the meal, visiting and then playing cards as this was a ritual for many years. The favorite card game was called stupid and quite often Wilbur would go home with a pocket or two full of coins. Wilbur’s interests were curling in the winter time and the trophies they won showed they were almost unbeatable. He could draw in to the house right to the four foot every time. He also got involved in the Drop In Centre and started floor curling which was an outing every Tuesday night. He always had time for visiting with neighbours and friends.
Wilbur was a quiet man, hardworking, honest, a man of the land, someone that hardly ever said no when asked to give a helping hand. He was a true family man, a friend to many and a lifelong companion to his brother Victor.  Wilbur is lovingly remembered by his brother Victor; three aunts, Marion Lamontagne, Dorothy Brown (Caseley) and Sadie Caseley; numerous cousins and many friends. Wilbur will be missed by all that knew him; rest in peace.  The funeral service for Wilbur Barnard was conducted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 2 p.m. at the Trinity United Church, Coronation, AB with Reverend Sue Hertell officiating. Pianist, Linda Osetsky played for the congregational hymns “The Old Rugged Cross” and “In The Bulb There Is A Flower” and “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”.
Shirley Kary shared a lovely tribute. Active pallbearers were Wes Ley, Marvin Ley, Dennis Lamontagne, Jack Caseley, Craig Caseley and Russell Watts. Honourary pallbearers were “All Wilbur’s Family and Friends”. Wilbur was laid to rest beside his mother in the Coronation Cemetery.  Following the interment, lunch was held in the Golden Age Drop In Centre which was prepared and served by the Golden Age Ladies. Memorial donations may be given to the Alberta Cancer Foundation Box 5030, 3942-50A Ave. Red Deer, AB, T4N 4E7, Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation, 202, 5913-50 Ave. Red Deer, AB, T4N 4C4 or to a charity of the donor’s choice. You may send your condolences by email to Heather Caseley of Coronation Funeral Home entrusted with the funeral arrangements. 1-888-578-2928. “Knowledge, Experience And Professionalism With A Personal Touch”

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1 Comment

  • Sympathy to family and friend in memory of Wilbur.
    We went to Pleasant Heights school many years ago, Wilbur was few grades ahead of me in our country- one- room school.