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VARGA, Barry Steven

September 24, 1958 – Calgary, AB
July 12, 2014 – Calgary, AB

Barry is forever free to realize the things he loved: playing guitar, sailing, hiking, skiing, riding his motorcycle and to savour the taste of food. At age 55, our beloved Barry passed away at Agape Hospice on July 12, 2014.

Barry was born and raised in Calgary. After a short stint in the oil patch, he returned to university in 1981, graduating from U of C in ’86 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science. He married Judy in 1988 and together they raised two beautiful daughters. His computer career spanned 22 years, co-owning 5 by 5 Software for six of those years. Barry often joked he’d taken early retirement when he was forced by the progressive nature of ALS to leave his last employer, Trans Canada, in 2008.

Barry was an active and loving father, up to his last moments, leaving endearing words to his daughters to “live life with joy.” ALS diminished Barry’s physical capacity, yet he always maintained his dry sense of humour, often leaving people pondering if he was joking with his deadpan manner. Specialized computer equipment allowed him to enjoy countless hours of his favourite music while persevering for a cure for ALS. At the community level, Barry advocated public awareness for ALS through several speaking engagements, as an Ambassador for Betty’s Run in 2009, and envisioning the short comedy movie, “Disabled and Dangerous,” for which he was honoured this past spring with The Tony Proudfoot Exceptional Public Awareness Award by ALS Canada.

Barry leaves his memories to be cherished by his wife Judy and daughters Rachelle and Reanna; brothers and sisters, Vern, Darlene (Jim), Kevin (Janice), Laurie (Frank) and their families; and numerous loving extended family and friends. He was predeceased by his parents Rose and Frank.

Friends and relatives are invited to A Celebration of Barry’s Life at The Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant (15979 Bow Bottom Trail S.E., Calgary) on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. Forward condolences through If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to The ALS Society of Alberta, Suite 250, 4723 – 1 Street S.W., Calgary, AB T2G 4Y8, The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Agape Hospice, his caregivers, The Home Care Team, The ALS Society of Alberta, The ALS Clinic and Dr. Linda Fong for their support.

In living memory of Barry Varga, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Selma Marion :

    I am so happy we came to Calgary in June to see Barry and saddened to hear of his passing. He kept his humor until the end. He will live in our hearts forever. Take care Judy, Rachelle and Reanna. Know that you are loved. Aunty Selma and uncle Johnny

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  2. Vicki & Melvin Miller Family :

    It was sad hearing of Barry’s passing but the memories are priceless. I can still hear all the kids having a great time at the farm. The laughter still rings in my ears. He is free at last. Our love and best wishes to everyone. We will not be able to be there but our prayers for you all will be. LOVE the Miller Family

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  3. The Fosters :

    Judy, Rachelle & Reanna, our hearts go out to you, and we will keep the memory of Barry singing “Schools Out” in our hearts.

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  4. Tim Warters :

    B….you will be truly missed my dearest friend. Your kindness & positive attitude throughout your struggle is a testament to the man you are. Our trip to the Vancouver Islands with the “gang” will be a legacy remembered as one the happiest times ever. God bless Judy, Rachelle & Reanna.
    Hugs to all
    Tim & Mary Warters

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  5. Cheryl Harper :

    So sad to hear of Barry”s passing…….my thoughts and prayers are with you all in this sad time.
    Love always

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  6. Decker Shields :

    Barry was a key friend to many of us and will be greatly missed. There were many adventures with Barry and those are times I will never forget. I am very glad that I had the opportunity to know this wonderful guy. Judy, Rachelle and Reanna you had a super fellow who loved you very much.
    Your friends
    Decker and Sandy Shields

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  7. Barry. I know you’re listening, I want you to know your presence in my life will always be treasured, all the happy memories are reflecting back. The ALS disease has to be one of life’s most challenging tests to believe we have a God. Barry you already know, you have met him, you are there. Us, we just have to know that your suffering was currency, pay forward. Your suffering earned you the glory of eternal life, passage into God’s Kingdom. Just like God suffered for all of us. You are now our angel alongside God. Thanks for all the great laughs and great memories. You will be missed. My deepest condolences to all of Barry’s family and friends. We all lost someone very special, way to soon. God bless Jim Walker and Family.

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  8. So sorry to hear of Barrys passing. They say time makes it easier but I don’t know. I do know that time can’t take away all the fond memories of someone who was loved by so many. Will always remember our family gatherings out at the farm and our last mini reunion three summers ago. Ron and family

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  9. Deepest condolences to the Varga family.

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  10. Mata P. Bishun :

    Judy, Rachelle and Reanna : Barry is now in a peaceful and better place. I really cherish the time that I spent with you all and Barry in April 2014 . I promised Barry that after the Stampede, I would be back out to seem him and I even wrote it in his calendar, so it was very hard for me to hear the sad news – I feel like I missed out by just a week or two. Barry and I met at the U of C and we became very good friends. We had some good laughs, late nights and big dreams while studying computer science. Barry was truly open minded and full of humor – I actually never knew when he was being serious or not. He had another circle of friends which comprised immigrants like Eddie (that’s me from Guyana), Stanley (Hong Kong), Vladmir (Bulgaria) etc. and treated everyone with great respect. I was very happy to hear that Vladmir spent some time with Barry after I left in April. Barry had a kind of international flare in many ways. I learned so much from Barry, like how to treat people with respect, hard work, how to laugh, how to dream big, and how to deal with adversity. All of which helped me to be where I am today. Although I did not talk to Barry on a day to day basis, I will truly miss him very much.

    Eddie, Mary, Emma, Edwin, Savanah, Zackery and Elijah Bishun

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  11. Vladimir Balabanov :

    Judy, Rachelle and Reanna, It is with great sadness and surprise I learned about Barry’s passing from our friend Eddie. It was only a few short weeks since I was there with Barry during my brief visit to Calgary. I must say without exaggeration that Barry’s courage and sense of humor without even a hint of regret about his own lot is an inspiration. We talked a lot about the past, our times at U of C, the struggles thereafter but mostly about finding a “peaceful and better place”, for Humanity.
    Barry, you beat me to it.

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  12. Linda Jensen :

    I was saddened to hear of Barry’s passing – support group will never be the same. His sense of humour was unique. Judy, a lot of love goes out to you & your girls.

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  13. Cathy Gordon :

    Barry was the inspirational example of how to “live life with joy”. He has impacted my life forever and I am a better person for knowing him. My heartfelt condolences and love to all of you – Love Cathy Gordon

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  14. A king.
    I worked with Barry at 5×5. A wonderful, passionate man.
    Condolences to his family.

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  15. I was Barry’s business partner at 5by5 Software. Barry’s dry wit always made me laugh. He also loved playing guitar. I remember one particular morning when Barry arrived at the office with a gleam in his eye. He had figured out a Rolling Stones tune, with open G tuning, and could not wait to play it for me on my acoustic guitar we had at the office. Barry was the happiest guy in the world at that moment. I miss him. I am sorry for your loss. Love, Mitch

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