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(Email received from Katherine Barton. Reprinted with permission)

 

Good day -

I need to tell you of the passing of my father, Staff Sgt. Thomas Barton K91517 at the age of 88.  He died peacefully in Pine Acres Home, West Kelowna, B.C. on May 12th, 2009.  Our Mother died 28 days earlier.

After surviving the depravity of the camps, Dad returned home to become a devoted husband, father of four children, contributing member of society, and benevolent benefactor to children in need, the infirmed, and animals.

I know he was proud to have served his country, 'tho he never marched in a parade or wore his medals on his chest.  His experiences impacted his physical well being throughout the remainder of his life, but you would not hear him complain or make disparaging remarks about the opposition.  I fully accept that the freedoms I enjoy as a Canadian might not have been possible if not for him, and so many others like him.

Dad did not speak to me of his time in the camps until I reached adulthood and could better understand his internment.  I know I will never comprehend what it must have been like to be hungry, worked to the limits of physical endurance, or not have loving arms around me for four years.

My father, in living his life as he did, has set a shining example for me to follow.  Generosity to those less fortunate, faith in fellow man, love, compassion, honesty, strength of spirit, optimism, and hope for the future.

I was blessed to have this man as my father, and I mourn him.  I shall ever honor his memory.

 
Sincerely,
Katherine Barton