Barry Pruden passed on Nov 3, 2020 at home surrounded by his family. Barry, a pioneer, chose to select the time of his passing. He was comforted, understood and supported by his wife of 60 years, Norma Pruden, his loving children, Mazy and Alex, their spouses, Will and Stephanie, and grandchildren Biliana and Jack.
Barry was born in Winnipeg Manitoba and grew up in the mining town of Madsen, Ontario. He was a hunter and a trapper in his youth, taught by his Métis father. He loved the outdoors.
During his schooling in Madsen and Red Lake, he made many lifelong friends. He continued these friendships and attended all school reunions in Madsen and later in Winnipeg. These reunions were uproarious, and Barry greatly enjoyed them. He told many stories of life in a community steeped in the history of early gold-mining in Canada .
In 1963, while Barry was in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia, he met Norma Joan, and they married in 1964. Together they planned a life of travel and adventure, and as had been promised by Barry, life was never boring.
A gifted and determined student, his chemical engineering studies led to a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Saskatchewan, a Master of Science degree at the University of British Columbia, and a PhD at McGill University in Montréal.
In pursuit of a career in research and development, he travelled the world, collaborating with other like-minded researchers developing hundreds of patents and winning many awards in his beloved field. In 1996, Barry retired from the University of Calgary’s Chemical Engineering department, holding the position of Hydrogen Chair.
The Prudens retired to Sechelt, British Columbia in 1998, but Barry kept on working and developed a successful consulting business that continued to advance the science of oil refining and hydrogen research, encouraging innovation in his field of chemical engineering.
Barry was very community minded. He volunteered as a director at the Sechelt Senior Activity Center, the Sechelt Legion, became an instructor in the local Tai Chi group, and a member of the White Cane Society and an enthusiastic member of the Sunshine Coast Natural History Society. There, he directed and coordinated the enhancement of the Sechelt Marsh. This was very close to his heart, as he really liked birds and a nice walk.
Barry had a significant obsession with puzzles, whether they be physical puzzles or mental puzzles involving logic or tricks with arithmetic. He took great joy in presenting his loved ones, especially son-in-law Will, with new puzzles, primarily ones that caused confusion. He was always delighted to be presented with a new problem to solve.
As his eyesight declined, he was increasingly supported by his beloved daughter, Mazy (née Janet Panic), who took on the role of his eyes as they worked together on projects: the marsh, his consulting business, district zoning, Métis history, and songs “Métis Maiden” and “Mary Jane” (a history of marijuana in Canada).
Barry will always be remembered for his sharp wit, bad puns, spontaneous Tai Chi moves, great stories and above all else by his loving family.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks for the care Barry received from the palliative care team, Doctor Goojha, Doctor Steiner and Doctor Wadge.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we hope to have a celebration of Barry’s life with his community of friends and family in 2021.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barry Blythe Pruden, please visit our floral store.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Barry Blythe Pruden October 19 1938 November 3 2020 (age 82)..
Décès pour la Ville: Gibsons, Province: Colombie britanique