McInnis & Holloway
Funeral Homes

McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
“The opportunity to serve” is the highest compliment
McInnis & Holloway could receive.
Call (403) 243-8200 or 1-800-661-1599

MERRELLS, Barry J.

August 29, 1936 – December 20, 2012

Barry peacefully passed away after a long and valiant battle with cancer at 76 years of age.

Barry was born in Calgary, AB to Harry Merrells and Annie Walls. He was the youngest of three children and was predeceased by brother Frank Merrells, and is survived by brother Melvin Merrells.

Barry was predeceased by his wife Maureen and is survived by his partner Irene, his two sons, Ken (Catherine) and Dean (Val), as well as his extended family including four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

As a young man, Barry worked as a bricklayer, and in 1960, his career took quite a different direction when he became a member of IATSE Local 212 to pursue work in stage and film. Barry was often seen with his brothers unloading rail cars of stage equipment, sets, and lighting on frigid winter nights to prepare for events such as the Ice Capades, and yet continued his work as a bricklayer during the day. Since 1960, Barry has served Local 212 in various capacities including fifteen years as Business Agent. He was one of the most prolific Stage Stewards and served on countless committees for his Local. Barry also worked many years as a Props man in countless movies and is regarded as a pioneer of Alberta’s motion picture and television industry. In 2010, Barry received his gold pin and Presidential scroll for fifty years of exemplary service to the IATSE. In April 2012, he received his gold retirement card. He was very proud of his achievements as a highly productive member and executive officer of the Local. In addition to his sons Ken and Dean, and Brother Mel, Barry leaves behind many friends and extended family within the membership of Local 212.

A Memorial Service will be held on January 3rd at the Royal Canadian Legion, 606 – 38 Avenue N.E. at 2:00 p.m. to honour him. Barry would wish to welcome all of his friends and family, so please join us in celebrating his life. Condolences may be left in Barry’s online guestbook at www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

A tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane to represent a living memory of Barry who will be sadly missed.

Offer Condolence for the family of MERRELLS, Barry J.

Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences

Condolence Messages

  1. I would like to express my condolences to the family and friends of Barry. His positive influence on myself in my younger days with I.A.T.S.E. will be remembered.

    Wayne Bell

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  2. Rex & Brenda Cooley :

    Our family feels your family’s pain

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  3. My condolences to the entire Merrells family and his IATSE family. He will be missed. I first encountered Barry somewhere around 1969, when I worked as a PA runner on my first show. By 1973 we were working the same shows regularly. I learned a lot from Barry and will be forever grateful for the lessons learned regardless of which side of the issues we were on. Goodbye Barry, rest well. You have earned it.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  4. Ken and Dean, and your families, I offer my condolence at this time. I recall when Barry first spoke to me of membership in the Local during “Hypersapien” and of the years I served on the Local’s Board with him, the trips to LA, etc. ….. I learned a lot about the business from him ! He lived a full life. He was a Good Man!

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  5. Ron & Renie Hanson :

    Our thoughts are with you Irene, Ken, Dean & families. Enjoyed the short visit with you yesterday, Irene. Not sure we will be able to make the service, but our thoughts will be with each and everyone of you on January 3.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  6. I am sad to hear of the passing of Barry and my sincere heartfelt condolences go to his family at this difficult time.
    Barry was very helpful to me as I was starting out in movie props and stagecraft. He was a wealth of knowledge and would pass on that knowledge if asked.
    I have not had the pleasure of working with Barry for over a decade now due to moving away, but will still feel a loss when I think of him.
    Rest well my friend.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  7. My condolences to the family. My thoughts are with you Ken and Dean. He was a great man.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  8. Sorry for your loss. I learned a lot from Barry, I will miss him.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  9. Tom & Charlie Hansen :

    Our sympathy to Ken, Dean, Irene and all the families on Barry’s passing. He will live on in our memories.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  10. Stephen Strub :

    My deepest sympathies to the Merrell family and friends. I first met Barry at my sister Catherine and brother-in-law Ken`s wedding. When I arrived in Calgary, Catherine brought me shopping at Lamlee`s for my customary western attire change. Back at the farm house I met Barry and other guests out by the garage. It wasn`t long before I was talking with Barry and he asked what I do for a living back in Ottawa. I told him I work in the federal government. He just laughed. There I was all dressed up in my new western duds talking and sharing a beer with a man I would later find out was a true hard working Albertan, and his son Ken a true Alberta cattleman. Barry then asks me, well what work do you do in the federal government? I said I push paper. Well he laughed again and we hit it off from there. Rest in peace Barry, you are gone but not forgotten.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  11. Barry wasn’t afraid to stick up for his brothers & sisters but would also put you in your place when needed. RIP Barry! I will miss you!

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  12. Tom & Charlie Hansen :

    Our sympathy to Ken, Dean, Irene and on the families on Barry’s passing. He will live on in our memories.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  13. My deepest condolences to Irene, Ken and Dean and the rest of the family. I always liked Barry and was pleased to have served with him on the Executive of IATSE 212. I always liked popping into his office and having a chat. I am grateful that I was able to conduct the interview with him for the Local 212 100th Anniversary video. His stories were wonderful! I spent a couple of hours at his home and he was so proud of it and showed us all around. His accomplishments were many. He will be missed.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  14. I must say that I always found Barry to be more worthy of respect than many men… and kinder than most…

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  15. Sorry to hear about Barry’s passing, we have good memories to keep him with us, my condolences to his family

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  16. LORNA ENGLISH :

    KEN AND DEAN
    THINKING OF YOU BOTH
    THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR DAD WITH ME
    HE WAS A FRIEND
    LORNA ENGLISH

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  17. Chooch and Kathy Paglaro :

    Deepest condolences to the family. Spent plenty of time with Barry on the E Board. I am away and will not be home in time to attend.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  18. Barry had a strong influence on the careers of many IATSE members, myself included. He was fair, honest, very hardworking, and enormously respected by the members of this union. Lisa and I send our condolences to Ken and Dean, and the whole Merrells clan. We, too, will miss Barry.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  19. KEN SHERRIE CORY KELLY WILLS :

    OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH YOU KEN AND DEAN WE WILL MISS HIM VERY MUCH

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  20. My sympathy to Ken, Dean and the rest of the family. Barry taught me a lot about the Union, in my days working with him as a call steward. I will miss Barry.
    Leslie

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  21. Robin Swiderski :

    As I am unable to attend the memorial I wanted to send my condolences. I knew Barry through the film industry and appreciated his hard work, sense of humor and dedication.
    My thoughts are with his family at this time.
    Robin Swiderski

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  22. LORNA ENGLISH :

    THINKING OF YOU IRENE CHIN UP

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  23. John &Lorrie Gregor :

    We will miss Barry he was a great mentor when I was at work on stage and film. We enjoyed his company having coffee, etc. He will be missed by all.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  24. Ken, Dean, I’m sorry for your loss. Your Father was a fine example for all of us on how goals can be achieved through hard work. I’ll miss his humor, his fairness and his great pioneering Albertan spirit. Take care of each other. Bill, Cheryl and Guy Gardner

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  25. Barry was a true great to work with.
    To say he will be missed is a true understatement.
    Sending my thoughts to his family.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  26. Chris and Nicky Jacob :

    Our Thoughts and Condolences for the whole family. I’ve known Barry since I was a kid and I will miss him dearly.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  27. Across 41 years I’ve worked on countless productions of all types with Barry. He was certainly a character, a problem solver, considerate and caring toward everyone. A very responsible man exercising common sense at every turn (and there were many). I respected him and followed his lead for good reason. He had a great way with people. Many positive memories remain, and sadness that he’s gone.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  28. I was just starting as Barry was starting to retire but he was always good to have as a steward. The union has lost someone who was a great member. He will be missed.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  29. Richard Hansen :

    Dean and Ken, my thoughts are with you. Barry will be missed.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  30. Duane & Glenna Neal :

    You and Barry have a place in our hearts. We will miss Barry’s good friendship and his cheerfulness. Hugs to you Irene from Glenna & Duane

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  31. Thinking of you today and sorry I can’t make it to the service. We have all been under the weather for the past week. When you return in the spring we will get together. Love Bill

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  32. Carl and Melody Scott :

    Our thoughts are with Ken, Dean and all the family today as we remember Barry. His dedication to his work and loyal friendship were an inspiration to us for many years. We will remember him with the greatest respect and admiration. Thank you for everything, Barry.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  33. Roy and Rose Johnson and family :

    Sincere condolences to Ken, Dean and their families, and Irene
    Barry was not only our B.A.(which he not only did with great dedication and zeal for the betterment of local 212) but was also a great friend.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  34. Calgary Opera :

    Our sincere condolences to the Merrells family. Barry worked backstage on many opera productions and was well respected for his hard work, skill, and dedication. His easy going and friendly manner was always appreciated. Rest in Peace Mr. Merrells.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  35. Your loss is our loss Brother Barry was a fine man and exceptional union Brother. He did more for our local than anyone else I know. Peace in your time of loss.
    Dave Lines

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  36. Our sincerest condolences to you Irene and to Barry’s family. We are unable to attend today but our thoughts are with you. Dave and Elsie Kirby

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  37. Jim & Sharon Reid :

    Irene,
    Although we could not be in Calgary for the service, you were in our thoughts and prayers. We’re so glad we were able to visit with you and Barry out here at Nk’Mip. So many of us here were saddened by the news but so happy to be able to spend time with Barry. God Bless you and the family.
    Jim & Sharon

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  38. Don & Chris Gundlock :

    Irene – we are saddened by Barry’s passing. We enjoyed visiting with you and Barry here in Nk’Mip and this passed summer for his birthday celebration. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Don & Chris

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  39. Nancy McNab (Spearman) :

    I am sorry to hear of your loss. I have passed the information on to my mother Bernice Spearman who was a long time friend of Peggy & Buster Elliott. As a family we spent many summers at their ranch and have lots of fond memories of you (as little boys) and of your mom and dad.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  40. Glen (Gt) Tallis :

    Missed the service, had the flu bug. My condolences to Ken(Catherine), Dean(Val) and rest of the Merrells clan and friends. Barry was a good man and always treated people fair with his own style. I worked with Barry on numerous stage calls,. Funny thing he always caught me talking being a realtor/stagehand go figure. Finally his WITTY solution was talk with my mouth closed and it worked. GOD BLESS YOU BARRY.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  41. George chapman :

    Condolences to Barry’s family and friends.
    I worked with in 1965 on “The Trap” in BC.
    He was a good friend. Rest In Peace Barry, we’ll all miss you.

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  42. Irene Wilson :

    Memories are keepsakes
    That will live in our hearts forever

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences
  43. Catherine Merrells :

    When I met Barry, he was a Business Agent and Maureen was still with us. The Union was teaming and alive! All the members who gathered when he called were inspired to help in any way they could. That was the affect he had everybody; respectful, responsible and dedicated.

    Later, in 2010, Ken and I hosted “Gringo Night”. We had so much fun preparing for the event , which was held at our farm. Barry was presented an award and was honoured for 50 years of service to his Union. Barry’s influence will live on in the hearts of all members whose life he touched. As a Business Agent, Barry was a great persuader and he made it so easy for the union to recognize him for his work, his help, and his dedication. Barry was blessed with your kind support and friendship through the years. You know who you are.
    “To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die”.
    Catherine Merrells

    Print This Obituary & Condolences Print This Obituary & Condolences

Leave Your Condolence

*

In order to confirm this has been completed by a human, kindly answer the below equation. *