HomeObituariesPHILIP BARNES MD FRCPC April 28, 1929 - April...

PHILIP BARNES MD FRCPC April 28, 1929 – April 18, 2023

Sadly, but peacefully, we have lost a lion of a man. Philip, age 93, passed at Simkin Centre, 10 days short of his 94th birthday, after a full and remarkable life.
Philip leaves behind daughter Enid (Art Macaw), son Ian (Sandra), grandsons, Stephen Nap (Star), Alex (Roma), and Matthew, step-grandsons, Matthew Wiewel (Jennifer) and Donavin Grouette, great-grandsons, Rafael, Santiago, and Sebastian, sister Carol Fehr, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Merle (1994), parents, Shirley and Fred, brother Sidney, and sister Donna. He also leaves his partner Marta Faludi in Palm Springs.
“Dr Phil” was a prominent Winnipeg Obstetrician/Gynecologist, joining the Mall Medical Group in the 1960s, and brought four generations of miracles into the world. He was beloved by his patients, highly respected by his colleagues, and a mentor and teacher to many medical students. As his children, we heard countless stories of gratitude told fondly by his patients, and from his colleagues, accounts of his clinical expertise, dedication, and skill. We recall his 2, 3, and 4:00 a.m. rushes to deliveries, often in blizzard conditions, as he did not want anyone else to attend to “his” patients. Philip’s specialty was in the care of birth mothers who were gestational diabetics, with research published and awards received. He was passionate about life, and a consummate, devoted caregiver to his family, friends, and patients. There were no half-measures with him; Philip was equal parts tenacious, determined, and obstinate as the day is long. To debate or argue wth him was at your own risk or peril. Each person he encountered was given a place of importance, no matter their station in life. He could not tolerate an injustice, and was a tireless advocate for those he saw as needing attention or vulnerable. Philip’s ferocity was tempered by his unwavering capacity for compassion for all. We would be remiss if we did not mention Philip’s legendary passion for food. Along with his scalpel, his fork was his trusty companion, and a Chinese food buffet was life. Although a force of nature, much revered, often feared, if he loved you, you knew it, as he would never hesitate to tell you so. If you were his friend, you had his loyalty forever.
“Philly” was proud of his humble beginnings and North End roots. He came from a loud, loving, colourful family, and from age nine, had jobs to help support them. Dreaming of becoming a doctor from a young age, he never let anyone forget that he was accepted into the Faculty of Medicine, at age 17, at a time when the University of Manitoba had a quota on their acceptance of Jewish medical students. Prior to his specialty of obs/gyne, he spent four years in Bienfait, SK, doing a general practice locum, with many a story he loved to tell of his time as town doctor, mayor, and plumber! As accomplished as Philip was, he was plain-spoken, called a spade a shovel, and was never afraid to do any kind of physical labour or get his hands dirty. He took our chiding about his mispronunciations like a trooper.
Above all else, Philip loved his family fiercely. We always knew we came first. As intimidating as he could be, he wore his generous heart on his sleeve. His devotion to his beloved Merle, who we lost much too soon, was a testament to heartbreak and recovery. His delight and pride in being a Zaida to his grandsons and great-grandsons knew no bounds, with complete spoiling rights. We are so fortunate to have had him in our lives and as a father.
We would like to thank the Simkin Centre for their exemplary care, who treated our father with dignity, respect, and love. We know he felt at home. We would also like to thank our family and friends for their outpouring of support and shared memories of Phil. They have been an immense source of comfort.
Funeral service was officiated by Rabbi Matthew Leibl at Rosh Pina Memorial Park. Pallbearers were Dan Blankstein, Rob Berkowits, John Diamond, Norm Mayer, Stephen Rosenfield, and Randy Wolfe. Thank you all for honouring our father and our family.
Donations may be made to the Barnes Family Fund, Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, or an organization of your choice.
Dad, your memory will always be a blessing. Your legacy will be kept alive throughout, by your family, and all those who love you. “Everything’s under control.”
You are with mother now.

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