BARRETT, Frank Michael was born in Toronto, August 3, 1942, and died peacefully in Peterborough on November 9, 2020 from Lewy Body Dementia.
Mike was a man who made people feel like they mattered. He listened when you spoke, and engaged with a level of curiosity, humour, and interest that made you feel he really cared. And he genuinely did. These were so evident in all the areas of his life.
And the humming! Anyone who knew Mike knew that he hummed about 80% of the time.
An undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Toronto, he returned there to work in the Zoology department for 40 years. He did his PhD on the kissing bug (Rhodnius prolexus), but was also fond of cicadas and sheep blow flies, which he studied while on sabbatical in Australia. He was asked to teach about reproduction, which lead to 40+ years of being involved in the expanding field of human sexuality. He became Executive Director of the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN) and was editor of the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality from 1992 to 2016. His intellectual curiosity, love of teaching and interest in people contributed greatly to the relationships he had with both students and colleagues. Mike facilitated workshops both nationally and internationally and had a particular interest in promoting the sexual health and wellbeing with people with disabilities. A lot of this work was done with his wife Ann, also one of the founders of SIECCAN.
As well as early morning rounds of golf, games of tennis and long runs, he loved fishing, beach time and games, often in the company of nieces, nephews, and friends. Countless hours were spent reading a wide variety of publications, the New Yorker being a particular favourite. When his daughters moved away they would often get a phone call where he tried to describe a particular cartoon. He thought it was hilarious.
Mike enjoyed traveling, with his wife Ann around the country, whether visiting friends or for academic events. Visits to his grandson in Golden BC were always a highlight. River brought an immense amount of joy to Mike’s life in his last years.
His generous, compassionate, and loving nature extended to so many people. He was a mentor and a support.
Mike will be greatly missed by his wife of 55 years, Ann, his partner in so many things; his daughters Andrea and Heather (Shiloh);, beloved grandson River; sister Lenore (David); predeceased by sister Joyce (John, predeceased); sister-in-law Comfort (Francis); brothers-in-law Peter (Rivka) and Tom (Karen) and many loved nieces and nephews.
Mike’s family extends heartfelt thanks to all the people who helped him navigate living with L.B.D. including VON adult day program staff, PSW’s, and the people at Fairhaven LTC home in Peterborough who cared for him so well as he finished this last stage of his full, rich life.
Donations can be made to SIECCAN, or a charity of your choice. A celebration of Mike’s life will be planned at future date. Condolences may be forwarded through www.highlandparkfuneralcentre.com
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