We Remember

BARNET, James Robert Arthur

February 2, 1939 — October 27, 2020

Jim Barnet passed away on October 27, 2020 at the age of 81 years. He was predeceased by his parents Adam John” Bill” and Gladys Mary Barnet (née Smith); sister Mary Jean Robertson; and brother George William Barnet. He leaves Laurette, his wife of 58 years; his 3 sons and their spouses Jim (Jo Anne), Bob (Pam), Brett (Amy); and his grandchildren Emma and Matthew. He also leaves his sister-in-law Avis – his late brother George’s wife, and her children Michelle Barnet (Brian) and Ron Barnet (Kent); his other nieces and nephews – his late sister Mary Jean’s children Elaine Csupak (Zolton), Bob Geddes (Tootie), Bill Geddes (Elisa Bell), and Thomas Geddes and their families; and, in special mention, Uncle Russell (Nancy) Smith – the remaining 1st generation member of the Clandeboye Smith family.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jim attended Assiniboine School and St. James High. He attended George Williams College in Chicago, IL, USA and graduated with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Science, later American International College in Springfield, MA, USA and received a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies under the guidance and mentorship of Robert R. Carkhuff and Bernard G. Berensen in 1976.

While in Winnipeg, he worked at Knowles School for Boys and Neighbourhood Service Centres. During his time in Winnipeg he met and married Laurette Marie Barnet (née Lizotte). They later moved to Chicago where Laurette graduated as a Registered Nurse. Jim worked in various settlement houses, boys’ clubs and mental health facilities, and he sometimes worked as a labourer on gas and oil pipelines. He later directed a Career Counselling Program for the Department of Corrections in Illinois prisons. Jim and Laurette moved to Edmonton Alberta where Jim was a Manager of Staff Training for the Alberta Solicitor General. He then worked at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) as Manager of Staff Training and Development for thirty years running programs for instructional and other staff. During his time at NAIT Jim also had occasion to travel. He trained teachers in Swaziland, Africa for the Canadian International Development Agency and later in Islamabad, Pakistan working for the National Oil and Gas Training Institute while Laurette worked as a nurse at the Australian High Commission.

After retiring from NAIT, Jim acquired employment with the United Nations Drug Control Program developing training programs for law enforcement in Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. After returning to Edmonton Jim worked further as Executive Director of Research and Program Development for public education in Washington State and managed his own training company in St. Albert, Alberta for projects in Pakistan, medical doctors in Afghanistan, and for Metis and First Nations Groups. Jim was of Metis Heritage and through his friend Lloyd Gwinn was able to better understand and value Canadian History and Culture.

In 2005, Jim and Laurette moved to Westbank, British Columbia where they met new friends and with whom they enjoyed sharing their lives. One of Jim’s most treasured times was to take his boat with family and friends to a secluded bay, pull out a picnic basket, and play cards, swim or just sit in the sun.

He enjoyed playing hockey, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, running, swimming, canoeing, and other sports. He could be seen running the 8 miles from NAIT to St. Albert training for the Banff Jasper Relay and ran several marathons. Jim loved hunting and fishing, especially with friends Blair MacLeod and Hugh Nicholson, and fishing with grandson Matthew and granddaughter Emma. As a youth his school summer jobs included working at YMCA Camp Stephens on Lake of the Woods, Ontario. In younger years he spent a lot of time in Assiniboine Park with his lifelong friend Dave Green. They could be found jumping and diving off the footbridge into the Assiniboine River and doing other questionable activities. Dave, Blair and Hugh are left to tell the stories of their many adventures. Jim was also an amateur guitar player, and enjoyed writing and singing songs about places and experiences of his life.

Above all else Jim was especially grateful and felt blessed with a hardworking, caring, and dedicated wife and three sons who contributed deeply to his education, work, and home life.

Due to COVID-19, a Funeral Service will be remote and Livestreamed on Thursday, November 5, 2020, at 10:00 am PST. (See below)

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