BARKMAN, Gary Wayne

Gary Wayne Barkman; husband, dad, grandpa, and great-grandpa, was born June 3, 1951, at Three Hills, AB, to Ben and Annie Barkman. He peacefully passed to his heavenly home on August 10, 2021. Gary took his schooling at Dr. Elliott School in Linden, AB. He gave his heart to God at an early age and was baptized, becoming a member of the Church of God in Christ Mennonite. Gary was always concerned we would all make it to Heaven. Going to church was important to him, even when he was so tired and sick. He was an only child and diligently prayed for a sibling until his cousin Gerald Wiebe came to live with them. He found fulfilment working with his parents in their store, Barkman’s General Store, and grain farming with his dad, which he continued to do following his father’s death. He married me, Sandra Toews, the love of his life, on October 20, 1972. We spent 49 remarkable years together. We enjoyed playing games and spending time outdoors together as a family. Because he had no brothers or sisters, his children and grandchildren were doubly important to him. Being on time was key in his life. He enjoyed his years volunteering with the ambulance, and also his 15 years as administrator at the Linden Nursing Home. He started his career as funeral director in Linden in 1992 and continued in Westlock after moving there. Another job which pleased his people-loving nature, was his shared ownership of a grocery store in Linden. He loved singing, out in the field at the top of his lungs, or belting out quartets with his friends. A noteworthy memory for our mom is the couple years they spent together while trucking, delivering loads throughout Canada and USA. The years they spent at Eastgate Children’s Home in Winnipeg, MB, and the unit at Ann Arbor, Michigan, were highlights of their lives. They moved to Westlock, AB in 2012 and happily became Papa Gary and Mama Sandra in the young congregation.

Gary loved humour and telling stories and easily made friends wherever he went. Left behind with wonderful memories are his wife Sandra, and children; Marlys & David Reimer, Kara & Lonny Goossen, Brandon and Alayna, Brett & Autumn, Kayla, Todd; Mike & Anne, Amber, Laci, Jenna; Lester & Nellie, Ashley, Jessica, Courtney; Lynn & Rawlin James, Nicholas, Caleb, Emery, Desirae. Sandra’s siblings; Pauline & Gladwin Loewen, Richard & Pat, Eva & Lyle Unruh, Rosanne & Alvin Dutchak, Victor & Fern, Kevin & Twila, Bill & Penny. Also cherishing fond memories are Gerald’s children; Gordon, Vickie, Ross, Jack, and Warren and their families, plus many more nieces and nephews and friends, and all the unit girls who called him Papa. Gone before are his parents, Ben & Annie Barkman, his parents in-law, Willie & Emmeline Toews, Gerald & MaryAnne, granddaughter Michelle, brother in-law Edric, and sister in-law Eldonna. A special thanks to the Westlock congregation, to the Westlock Care Centre for the excellent care he received, and to everyone at Westlock Funeral Home. Funeral Services were held August 14, 2021, Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, Pembina Valley Congregation, Westlock, AB at Barrhead United Church. Gary was laid to rest August 15, 2021 at the Linden Cemetery, Linden, AB.