We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Sneath-Strilchuk Funeral Services - Ste. Rose
Barry John Inkster of Rorketon passed away on Friday, July 29, 2022 at Ste Rose du lac after a courageous battle with leukemia.
Barry, or “Tiny” as he was known in his younger years, was born on March 27, 1943 in Ste Rose du Lac, Manitoba to John and Mary Inkster and grew up in Abbotshall with them and his older brother Raymond.
Dad started school in Abbotshall and finished his schooling in Rorketon. Though the Abbotshall School was basically across the road from the farm and an easy walk, he did not enjoy the walk in the winter when he was expected to get there early to start the fire to warm the schoolhouse up.
After finishing Grade 11, Dad did various jobs including working on the farm, going to Brandon to work with CN and going up north to work in the mines in Thompson and Lynn Lake.
In 1965, Dad met Katherine Brunen and in November 1966 they were married in Ste Rose du Lac. He immediately went from a small family of his parents, one brother, one sister-in-law and two nephews to having a mother-in-law and 8 brother and sister-in-laws, their spouses and 39 nieces and nephews (with more to come in the following years)
Dad and Mom started their married life together living on the Inkster farm in Abbotshall. After a while they moved to Lynn Lake. While living there, Dad worked in the mine and Mom worked at the Lynn Lake hospital. A few years later, they decided to move to Snow Lake. Shortly after they arrived there, my grandfather had a farming accident in which he lost his thumb. Dad and Mom moved back to Abbotshall and Dad farmed with his parents while mom nursed at the Ste Rose hospital.
In 1992, he suddenly became a paraplegic after an abscess in his spinal column compressed the nerves. Nobody knew this abscess was there. One day he was walking, the next day he couldn’t. After surgery, he went into the Rehab Centre, which was a real eye opener for him. He was on the spinal cord injury unit. Most patients there were around 18 years old and would never walk again because their spinal cord had been cut due to some kind of accident. Because his nerves weren’t cut, just compressed, there was hope for him to walk. He was determined he was going to walk again. He wasn’t giving up. The young people on that floor gave him the determination to not give up. He said he had at least had about 50 years of walking, while most of these people were just starting their life and would never walk because their spinal cords were severed.
Months of rehab and he was met with success. The day he was able to wiggle his big toe brought him huge excitement. This meant that nerves were starting to respond. He continued to work hard on getting his mobility back and was eventually able to walk with crutch canes.
The paralysis didn’t stop him from farming. He reduced the number of cattle he had and was able to pull himself up into the tractor to drive it or got on his quad. He was able to manage the cattle in the summer. It was by no means full-time farming, but it was something he could do with pride.
Around the time that he became mobile, he developed a HUGE friendship with one special girl. No, Mom wasn’t jealous. This was their great niece, Kayla. That girl could do no wrong in his eyes. Whether he brought the little girl a basket of strawberries and encouraged her to wipe her juice covered fingers onto her white shirt, was playing cribbage with her, discussing farming or having a drink with her; he truly loved every minute. Kayla is the granddaughter he never had.
Two constant close friends he has had are my cousin, Joan Zamrykut, and his long time friend, John Fleury. You both have done so much over the past few years to make his life easier and to keep his spirits up. We can’t thank you both enough for everything you’ve done for him.
Left to mourn his passing are his son Wayne and his partner Darrell; his brother Raymond (Margaret) and their sons Bradley and Kenneth and their families. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Teresa Smigelski (Peter), his sisters-in-law Hazel Brunen and Anna Paradis and his brothers-in-law Herb Montgomery & Bob Jamieson. There are many nieces, nephews and extended family.
A celebration of Barry's life will be held on Friday, August 5th, 2022 at 11:00 am in the Lawrence Community Complex in Rorketon. Interment will follow in the Ridgeway Cemetery.
Flowers are gratefully declined. Donations in Barry’s memory can be made to Ridgeway Cemetery, Box 141, Rorketon, MB R0L 1R0
Thanks goes out to his primary, long time home care worker, Sandra. He appreciated your care and conversations a lot. A special thank you goes out to Dr. O’Hagan and the staff of Ste Rose Hospital. Many of you were more than just staff members working with him. Over the past few months, many of you became friends and people he trusted and cared about. The help and support you gave him and us while he was on end of life care was appreciated.
Ridgeway Cemetery Fund
Rorketon MB R0L 1R0