Joseph Barry McGrath
Joseph Barry McGrath
Joseph Barry McGrath
Joseph Barry McGrath
Joseph Barry McGrath
Joseph Barry McGrath


1:30 pm
Thursday, February 9, 2023
St. Michael The Archangel Catholic Church
379 Division Street
Cobourg, Ontario, Canada

Interment of Cremated Remains

Terrace Lawn Memorial Gardens
4255 E Fairfiew Avenue
Meridian, Idaho, United States

Obituary of Joseph Barry McGrath

Joseph Barry McGrath (1946-2023) Born September 14, 1946, Cobourg, Ontario Died January 5th, 2023, in Pickering, Ontario Canada Joseph Barry McGrath, "BARRY" left us to be with his Heavenly Father on Thursday January 5th 2023. He was born in Cobourg, Ontario on September 14th, 1946 the Son of Maurice Patrick John McGrath and Helen Adele Riley McGrath Pollack Davis. Barry came into this world a beautiful perfect baby boy. He was loved and a great joy to his family. As common in young family's time to time various childhood illnesses pass through school aged children, at the time commonly Scarlet Fever and Chicken Pox. Unfortunately, Barry's brothers had one or the other back-to-back resulting in several horrendous fevers to Barry. At 12 months of age because of chicken pox/encephalitis Barry was left brain damaged. The lack of understanding for the mentally challenged at that time led his Mother Adele on a crusade to provide a better existence for challenged children at that time. His Mother became the first President of the first organization in Toronto, Director of the Ontario Association. And Vice President of the Canadian National Association for Retarted Children (the technical name at the time.) Barry lived in Cobourg with his parents and brothers and despite his challenging cognitive issues he very much enjoyed day to day life with his family. Sadly, at that time in history it was frowned upon to have a child with Special Needs in family. Social stigmatisms resulted in frequent issues in addition to visits from local law enforcement, Barry's brothers frequently were involved in "fist fights" against kids that "made fun" of Barry in some way. Big brother Brian was constantly looking out for his little brother Barry. Also, there were concerns about the effect it was having on his father's employment. At eight years of age his parents made the grim and painful decision to relocate Barry out of the family home. He was moved to Rideau Regional Center located in Smith Falls, Ontario. Barry was technically a resident of Rideau Regional Center from July 18, 1955, until 2008. That was 53 years' time spent at that location. From that point on Barry could not count on many happy days, that is except every year the first week in June Rideau Regional hosted "Family Day." Barry's Mother always attended Family Day come hell or high water she would be there for him, and he knew he would see her. She also made sure without fail that Barry received Christmas presents wrapped and ready without fail. (This is probably why Barry was a huge fan of Christmas, it was one of the few joys he could count on.) Those are examples of limited pleasant realities of his time at Rideau. Thankfully, through the Grace of God, Rideau Regional Center was forced to close, and in 2008 Access Community Services worked with his Mother Adele to have Barry moved out of Rideau and placed in Rose Glen Beck Group Home located in Port Hope. After the sterile environment at Rideau Regional his new home at Rose Glen Beck was a refreshing change, it is an old Victorian style home repurposed to house residents with similar adversities. One house mate "Frankie" was Barry's truest "Best Friend ever." Franky spoke softly and was thoughtful of Barry, he also remembered Barry's birthday and would remind him yearly. There were several other house mates that Barry would roust with verbiage about one thing or anther it was funny to hear and while the insults were intended to be sincere more often the overall mood was that of a family occasionally bickering with one another. Several of the one-on-one staff at Rose Glen Beck brought daily joy to Barry's life. Often smiling at his unique personality and habits. These individuals made day to day life for Barry so much better than the previous years at Rideau Regional. He had weekly trips to McDonalds, the dollar store. The attention certain staff members put into creating Barry's happiness, looking after his wellbeing on their own accord, day to day simple tasks like shaving, having a cup of coffee or a nice conversation about the weather. These gestures were out of pure goodness and charity often the kindness shown with no expectation of anything in return. In June 2012 Barry's Mother Adele passed away, finally relinquishing to her heavenly father ONLY, only after she was told Barry's older brothers Bryan and Tom had successfully arrived in Port Hope for the yearly visit to see Barry. The brothers promised their mother they would continue to care for Barry. Eventually Barry's old brothers developed age related health issues of their own they needed help making the yearly trip. At that time Bryan's youngest daughter Barry's niece Colleen began accompanying either brother Tom or brother Bryan on the trip to Canada. Walking the streets of Cobourg, Port Hope and Roseneath with Barry and Bryan or Barry and Tom and later with Colleen. In the end Colleen would make the trip alone she and Barry (now upgraded to the front passenger seat) would hit the town together. "It's a nice day for a drive, Barry would say." Music playing in the background, big band, the 50's,60's, Elvis, Mozart, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky the Muppets Christmas music. The two would fire up the rental car and just go. Barry had his regular requests for their outings. The dollars store for a new hat and sunglasses. A drive to see the trains and docked boats in Cobourg, the beach, Tim Hortons, Ice cream, pasta for dinner or French onion soup and pizza. Good times for sure. In the summer 2022 Barry had to be moved into long term care. Colleen had just been to visit in September for Barry's 76th Birthday the pair had a great time and Colleen was able to meet one of his new caregivers "Juliet' she was quite special, and her kindness brought much happiness to joy to Barry. His decline started shortly thereafter with a series of minor falls. The first fall in October, then in November two more falls, then he went into the hospital twice in December the second time he was released around Dec 21st things really changed Barry did not want to get out of bed and refused most meals and medication Juliet was the determined to get Barry to take in nutrition and worked very hard to help. Also at that time an absolute ANGEL, angel from Barry's past Kim McKinnon came to his rescue and was instrumental in making sure no stone was left unturned in terms of care and comfort during Barry's last days. Always hopeful he would bounce back to good health and to regain interest in getting out of bed again and eating again. These two wonderful ladies worked tirelessly to help. God knows your sincere care and concern for Barry and the McGrath family thanks you both so very much, truly. On Thursday January 5th Barry went to sleep around 11:00am and passed gently in his sleep around 6:00pm that evening. As Kim McKinnon stated God roles out the red carpet for innocent soles like Barry McGrath. Colleen will transport Barry's remains to Boise, Idaho in the US to be placed next to his mother and brother Bryan and not too far away from his father's interment location. Written by Barry's brother - Thomas Patrick McGrath Joseph Barry McGrath had the golden wings which got him to heaven nonstop to the front of the line. All of us come into the world sweet pure and innocent. Our first emotion is to love through expression – we give love squeezes hugs and laughter, only a select few get to keep these qualities all through their life, Barry McGrath had such qualities. He paid a high price in a very complex world. Examples: Barry never got to play sports of any kind. Barry missed out on the nourishment of family life, their love and support day in and day out. Barry never got his first gun, fishing pole, baseball glove, soccer ball a bike or his first car. Barry never got the latest style in clothes, shoes, ect. Barry never had the love of a girlfriend, wife and or children of his own. Barry never owned a house, vacation home, boat, jet ski, snow mobile, atv, or pickup truck. Barry never owned a goldfish or even had a real puppy to love. He never got respect, he was always put on the cross and judged by many people negatively. Barry never went on vacation with a friend. Barry's beautiful heart was trapped in his own body. pure, Pure, PURE was his innocents and I believe it did get him a ticket to ride to the top in heaven! Bumping everyone else straight to the top of the line. Barry McGrath flying in with golden wings and on 1/5/2023 God welcomed him with open arms and his torment was through.
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