Dear Peggy and family,
I am so sorry to hear of Jim's passing and your loss, my most sincere condolences. Jim taught, tolerated, and cajoled me through the dreaded years of transition from a mouthy grade 9, in '76, to an aspiring musician, four years later. I remember, sitting many times on a desk in his classroom playing my classical guitar while he listened intently, trying valiantly to keep up my end of the good natured verbal sparing, appreciating how he could see though the difficult times and offer a kind word at just the right moment, and how proud I was when he wrote my grad. obit. for me claiming that what I learned was, "to write, eventually".
Years later, about 2000, I had the pleasure and honour to work with, and help, another fine member of the Barringer teaching legacy, Gavin, in the early days of his career. As I was helping a distraught grade 8 at the end of one day, I was so surprised when Jim dropped in on my classroom to say hello. Our conversation was very brief as it was immediately evident to Jim that my help was needed by the student. He left with a smile and a thumbs up. I like to think I too passed the baton as I know he knew he did that day.
Jim made a difference.
To paraphrase Socrates, if there is a heaven and all the great minds that ever have been and ever shall be are embroiled in an eternal debate Jim will be at its centre, but if there is not and there is only a dreamless sleep... may he rest in peace; he has earned the rest.
Respectfully and sincerely,
I write this with tears streaming down my face. Tears of sadness at just finding out about Jim's passing. Also, tears of joy remembering my high school years with Jim and the Barringer family. As you know, Jim and I were closer than brothers throughout high school, Polytechnic High School. Jim affectionately or not called it Pyrotechnic H. S. We both felt the name was stupid because it was not a technical school. I always did what I was told until I met Jim and he pointed out all the B. S. the was being presented to us. We both moved from Canada to the San Fernando Valley in CA around the same time. I was from Montreal and he was from Toronto. Youth hockey was just starting in CA and Jim and I both joined teams. He played goalie and I was a right wing (not my politics). We had not met yet. I had a break away and scored a goal. When we met at school because we heard the "o00uts and abooots" and instantly knew we were both Canucks, he looked at me and said, " You are the A...Hole that scored against me. We both laughed. I loved his Elvis impression. One day he met the love of his life, Peggy O. I must say, I was a bit jealous as my time with him became limited. Who could blame him. Cute, smart, and sassy, it could not be better.
He will always be in my heart. I told him more than once that he would make an incredible teacher whose students would revere him. As I read all the obituaries I was overcome with emotion to read about his love for his students, for teaching, and their love for him. Love, Mel
Peggy and family
Lorraine and I were saddened, like so many have expressed,at your loss. I had the privilege to have taught with Jim firstly at Ancaster High and subsequently at Parkside High in Ontario.As attested to by the many ex students who submitted their condolences , Jim was a teacher that connected.Remembering also your hospitality on several visits to Virginia
and memories of the school exchange trip to France with you both.
Peggy & family - Heartfelt warmest thoughts and prayers to you from this Ancaster girl now a San Francisco Bay girl. A poem comes to mind, in warmest and fondest memory ~
Jim, God bless you,
you were wild
as a March Hare,
a spring scent
of fine revelation
to that troubled winter
I first met you.
I am thinking of the way
your talks were always
larger than their titles,
they were apprenticeships
to fate, dialogues with a destiny
always two steps ahead
of easy explanation.
On stage or at the table,
building a passionate theme,
you made it personal,
something we had left or neglected,
something we could
if we had the nerve,
touch again, you moved us
through insight or humor,
you trusted friendship
exactly because you were
careful with it and knew
the same robustness that
could break a bond,
could strengthen it,
deepen it, reinvent it
and bind those who felt it.
Jim, I think I love more
a real conversation —
I will miss you,
you were untamable by the world
in which you worked,
you stood at some frontier
we wanted for ourselves.
In my mind you stand there now
refusing to give up,
humorous but unbending,
engaging God to understand
the nature of betrayal.
We allow it if you because
you always did trust
that dangerous edge in conversation,
the wild assertion, the sheer
‘hell with it’ nature of existence.
You didn’t care, exactly because
you cared so very much.
Your passion was our privilege.
You were a Whitman
of your world and
I salute you and thank you
in the style necessary
to your faith. I imagine
you here in your old way
looking over my shoulder
to make a summary,
a last line, by way of parting.
(a few liberties taken in transcription, original by: David Whyte, 2003. In: Everything is Waiting for You).
It is with great sadness to hear of Jim's passing. Yet after reading all the condolences, it is also heartening to see the impact on students, colleagues, family and friends. We were fortunate to have him at Parkside High in Dundas in the 1980s. Like so many have already written, he was simply the most inspiring. For me he was the first teacher to ask and value my opinion. He challenged my beliefs but gave me a voice. Even after I left his class, Mr Barringer tracked me down to give me a cassette that he thought I would like. Although it was a small thing, the weight of that has never left me. Jim set me on the road to being a teacher and I try to treat my students as he treated us. When I first began teaching in the 1990s, I wrote him a long letter of thanks. I carried that letter for 20 years and was so fortunate to have been able to tell him personally. Jim's legacy will be felt for years to come. Peggy, Gavin and James, we are thinking of you all during this difficult time.
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have that one teacher whose influence stays with you for the rest of your life: Jim Barringer was that person for me, and so many others—the outpouring of tributes to him speaks volumes. In addition to fuelling my love for reading, writing, and rhetoric, he slyly taught me many other things: the value in listening to different voices in the room; the dedication needed to be a decent partner and parent; and the possibility of finding joy in one’s vocation. When I graduated from Ancaster High, he wrote that he hoped we’d remain friends and stay in touch; 40 years later, je suis remplie de regrets, mon ami.
How ironic that I can’t find the words to express how this fine English teacher impacted me. I’m sure he wouldn’t even remember me, but I will never forget him. Yes he was a great teacher, one of the very best, and he encouraged my love of writing. For me though, what has lasted was much more than academics. He seemed to intuit what I needed as an insecure young girl with no sense of who I was or could be. His kindness and his thoughtful encouragement meant more to me than I can tell, and it lit a tiny spark in me that was missing. Rest In Peace Jim Barringer, if we might ever meet in the great beyond I would like to tell you all about it.
I had the great fortune to have Mr. Barringer as my Grade 7 English teacher. He was an exceptional teacher, who encouraged students without seeming false, and he inspired individual expression. He was sooooooo cool and many girls had their first “older” crush courtesy of him! A splendid man who truly changed student’s outlooks!
Like some of my classmates from Emery Junior High School, I heard today of the passing of Jim Barringer in May. My deepest condolences to everyone in the Barringer extended families. I am very sad to learn of this. Jim Barringer was a great teacher. He was challenging, thoughtful, socially aware, and really, really cared about helping his students learn - especaiily to think for themselves. Even today, all these years later, when I think of great artists in music like Simon and Garfunkel, or Bob Dylan, I remember studying their lyrics as poetry and still love it. May he smile down on all of us.
When I was 14 I fell in love with the advertising industry and wrangling unbridled creativity. It wasn’t until I took Mr. Barringer’s creative writing class that it was clear that writing was what I wanted to do as a career. He not only inspired me, but encouraged me to chase it. I’m sure if given the choice, he would’ve steered me into a more nobler pursuit of writing ‘The Great Canadian Novel’, but not only did he push me towards my dream, but I often thought of him while I was working in the industry at its highest levels. I’m not there without his wink of confidence. One of the most inspiring teachers, and people, who has ever touched my life. Thanks for everything, Jim. xo
Truly a great teacher, role model, advocate and encouragement. He gave me such keen feedback on my creative writing and was always so innovative and current in his methods...even helping us see poetry and sentence structure in Rod Stewart's music! He once on his own initiative wrote a beautiful letter to my parents telling them what he appreciated about my brothers and I, they treasured that very much. Never dull, always someone you wanted to be like, and how we enjoyed the Gavin and Tadd stories....heartfelt condolences to all the family on the loss of this exceptional person.
Mr. Barringer was my all-time favourite teacher at Emery Junior High school. I always loved English, but he made learning fun! I have thought of him fondly many times through the years. My condolences to his wife, children, family and friends. Sincerely.
I just heard about the death of Jim Barringer, and I was greatly saddened by the news, and wish to pass on my belated condolences to his family. Mr Barringer was one of my high school English teachers at Emery Junior High School in Toronto, in the early 1970s. He was one of, if not the best, teachers I ever had. He was a truly inspiring man. He imparted a love of literature that has stayed with me all my life. But he did a lot more than that: he taught us how to think. He challenged us to think critically, to not accept blindly what we were being told--even by him, and perhaps especially by him! He taught us about logical fallacies, and how important it was to avoid them. He taught us about film, and helped us to make a movie. I also remember how deeply impressed my father was with what Mr Barringer was teaching us. They had a great conversation at a parent-teacher meeting that my father talked about whenever the subject of our education came up. My father told him how grateful he was that Mr Barringer was teaching us critical thinking skills, and wondered whether he would introduce us kids to ethics. Apparently Mr Barringer smiled at my father, and said, 'Well, I suppose we could, but whose?' This led to a very interesting discussion. My father told us about it when he got home, and said to me 'Enjoy your time with Mr Barringer; you are very lucky to have a great teacher, and what you're learning will stick with you throughout your life'. My father was right. He was an exceptional guy. Again, my deepest condolences to the family.
My heart just fell to the pit of my stomach as I read this notice. Peggy I am so sorry for your loss. Jim was a beautiful man, friend and teacher.
I had the privilege of knowing Jim both as a teaching colleague at Parkside High School in Dundas, Ontario and as a friend. He was a fierce competitor as an intramural hockey player and, most certainly, as a pool player. I was also fortunate enough to visit Jim and Peggy twice in Virginia a number of years ago, once in Farmville and then later in Virginia Beach. I recall listening to and talking about another shared interest, blues music, into the wee hours of the night at their Farmville house. Jim was truly a wealth of knowledge on so many subjects.
I'm so sorry for your los, Peggy, and sincerely hope to see you again in Hamilton in the not too distant future.
Peggy and Family, Peter and I are so very saddened. Jim will always remain so dear to me. He was such a fun, intellectual athlete with a huge and loving heart. He was my first exposure, as a young teacher at Parkside, to real integrity and grit. He always spoke his truth. And he often spoke that truth to power. A total inspiration. The world is lesser for his departure. xo
A real loss.
Jim taught me English (and not a little life) in Grade 13 at Ancaster where I went for one semester. He sized me up almost instantly and saw in the steely glint in my eye a potential disruption to the carefully crafted chaos of his classroom and offered me a deal - if I found the class boring, my classmates trivial, the assigned reading beneath my dignity (I was an insufferable teenager) I was allowed to work on a side project of my choosing. And so I found myself labouring that semester through Homer's Odyssey and James Joyce's Ulysses (clearly these were Jim suggestions, not my choices - but oh what suggestions!) in the few moment in the class that I was not participating as Jim's secret weapon and erstwhile ally. A wise funny bright special man whom I will always cherish.
My condolences Peggy to you and your family. Mr Barringer was my favourite teacher at Ancaster High , and he is the reason I decided to major in English . He made learning come alive and inspired students to question their assumptions. I went on to teach English and History at Ancaster High , and often thought how lucky we were to have been taught by him. Students today in the age of rubrics , do not often get the opportunity to experience the same love of learning that he inspired in us. He was a great teacher , and a great man.
Peggy, I am so saddened to hear of Jim's passing. I know what a great team you were and how much fun you had together and I hope that in time those happy memories will give you comfort. He was a great teacher and I am thankful that I was able to experience his passion for the written word in his class back in 1977. He was a caring and loving person and I am thankful I was able to experience his kindness over the years through the love and support both you and Jim extended to our family. Peggy my thoughts and prayers are with you and the boys and their families as you grieve this great loss. With our love and sympathy, Donna and Glen and family
Dear Peggy you were my doctor and your husband was my English teacher! He was the best teacher at Ancaster high! He will be in my heart forever I went on to major in English in university! Prayers for you and your family!
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Peggy, my deepest sympathy for your loss. I'll never forget when I had Robbie, he'd come to the hospital with you and visit...just a wonderful, kind man. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.
My sincere condolences to Jim’s family. He was a beloved teacher who was held in high esteem-something hard to achieve from know it all teenagers. He was unconventional in his teaching style (and fashion style) and helped us all embrace learning by questioning what we were being told. From analyzing the lyrics to the song American Pie to telling us about the love and respect he had for his beloved Peggy he introduced us to a new way of thinking. I have thought of him often over the years. What a horribly unjust way for such a brilliant mind to go.
Mr. Barringer was like no other. The kind of teacher they make movies about. He was smart, witty, real, open minded, challenging and innovative with an engaging personality and flair that was unmatched in our high school years. He made you think and challenge the status quo. He adored those who were smart and creative, but he made room for everyone and brought people out of their shell to get the most out of them. He made everyone better at whatever passion that drove them and these words and emotions from so many people, so many years later are a strong indication of that. I was a weak student and didn't put in the work - which no doubt frustrated him - yet I looked forward to every one of his classes. I learned as much about life from him as I did from anyone during those years.
I often tried to get into a battle of wits or one liners (mainly because I didn't read the assigned books and wanted to contribute something) but he was in a league all is own. He always kept me sharp and always acknowledged a good line. This helped present a great opportunity to team-up with him to "entertain" the student masses at the Christmas assembly. What a thrill to be up there with him - despite the several projectiles hurled at me. I still have a cherished letter of recommendation from him pushing for me to be accepted into the Ryerson Radio And Television Arts Program. He knew my English marks wouldn't cut it so he went out of his way to highlight any other attributes. You might remember him leading his team at a teacher/student softball game....and a few of us will remember playing against him in the slo-pitch rec league at McMaster a few years later, where he was not only a talented and competitive player but the best trash talker in the league - in a league of outstanding trash talkers! He talked about and bragged about his wife kids just about every day - in or out of class - and we were able to meet you on a few occasions. My heart goes out to you as we remember an incredible man who influenced so many of us.
English classes outdoors under the trees, laughter, and poetry just cause poetry is cool. Mr. Barringer, your classes, kindness and superb teaching style have been with me since the first day I sat in your classroom. I was fortunate to have you as a teacher for grades 11, 12 and 13. I still have the poem that you wrote for our grade 13 English class that contains a stanza about each student in the class. Who does that? Mr. Barringer did. Not that he was an easy teacher. He pushed and challenged. If you got a good grade on an essay or short story you knew you'd earned it. My condolences to Jim's family. He will always be fondly remembered by this student.
'Sic transit gloria Barringer' - We all remember the laughing, literary lovesmith with the wee pack and the mischievous glint that inspired so many students to read and re-read. Mr. Barringer's classes were ones you hurried to, so you didn't miss the inevitable fun and inherent stimulation. The joy he inspired has resonated endlessly and I will remember him always.
I’m saddened to hear this . He was by far my favourite English teacher
When I heard some weeks ago that Mr Barringer had passed away I was saddened to hear that yet another brilliant mind had been taken by Alzheimer's disease. I spent a large part of my nursing career working with Alzheimer's patients and I hope in his final years his mind was comforted by thoughts of all the great books he shared with us. He was more than a teacher saving me from a stupid decision with kind words in my final year at Ancaster highschool. I have thought of him often over the years. My condolences to his family.
This is a punch to the heart learning of Jim Barringer’s passing. Though we hadn’t seen each other for many years, I fondly remember the teaching of literature and life that Jim gifted me. He was so positive, gave confidence and was anything but cookie-cutter. Fiercely individualistic, he encouraged students to look beyond their own insular world and embrace the “other”. Peggy and Jim were such a great team and support for each other. They helped me through a difficult time and welcomed me into their home. I will forever be indebted to them for that kindness. Peggy, Gavin and James, my sincere condolences on the long and final loss of your husband and father. He was loved by many, including me, which I hope gives some small comfort during this difficult time.
I was saddened to hear of Mr Barringer's passing. I will always remember him as one of my favourite teachers at AHVS. I would echo the sentiments in many of the posts here, but what I always admired about him was his passion for literature and the fact that he had fun with his job. Thanks Mr B and R.I.P.
I was saddened to hear of Mr Barringer's passing. I will always remember him as one of my favourite teachers at AHVS. I would echo the sentiments in many of the posts here, but what I always admired about him was his passion for literature and the fact that he had fun with his job. Thanks Tom and R.I.P.
My sympathies to the family on your loss. He was my favorite English teacher at AHVS.
My sincere condolences to the Barringer family
Me B. Was my all time favourite teacher
He taught me to appreciate reading a good book
To look at all sides in an debate
To look at the big picture of life
I remember well the days lessons being postponed because a good topic of conversation came up and the whole class participated
Everyone was encouraged to speak their minds without fear of ridicule
I shall miss him
Verna Jonasson year of 1981
Jim was a wonderful teacher and mentor. He helped me and other students think beyond the small town, middle class boundaries of our teenage minds. He taught, though the study of literature, empathy and compassion. I remember him saying that if he could teach the way he wanted to it would be with his students in a bus, traveling around experiencing real life. He made the world a better place.
As a teacher, Jim inspired me to try to do the same. I am grateful for the positive role he played in my life.
I was lucky to do some babysitting for Jim and Peggy and fondly remember my time with this loving and caring family. Peggy, Gavin and James...I am holding you in my heart at this difficult time
Mr. Barringer was my first high school teacher...home room, grade 9, 1976. I remember him fondly, and just a couple of months ago I purchased two volumes of Damon Runyon lifetime works because I was remembering how I enjoyed it when Mr, Barringer read his work to our class.
He had a tremendous and positive impact upon many young minds.
Mr Barringer was a huge influence in my life--far beyond any school curriculum. He taught me about Bob Dylan and to listen to the lyrics, not just the music. He gave me a deep love of Shakespeare and Dickens. He taught me to question everything. He let me get away with plagiarism so that I could develop my own style as a writer. He taught me how to sniff out BS. He taught me that some styrofoam cups and string tethered to the air-conditioning unit in his class couldn't be passed off as a science experiment. Jim Barringer truly had a massive part in who I am as a person today--as well as who I am as a creative. You're not gone, Jim. I think, on behalf of all of your students, I can safely say that you live on in all of us.
It is profound sadness that I feel learning of Jim's passing. Jim was my high school English teacher and a person that transformed my understanding of learning. He made me realize that I owned my learning, not the curriculum expected nor the number of classes I attended; it was all mine. He was creative and fun and thoughtful and a very deep thinker and literature came to life with Jim's guidance. This became part of all learning in life; it was up to me to seek it and make it happen. His beloved wife, Dr Peggy Barringer became my teacher and mentor in Medicine where Jim's teaching lived on and they were really like 'one person' to me in the way they lived and taught. Alzheimer's is such an unfair disease as it takes away the mind and soul of a human and I was devastated to learn that Jim suffered from this as his mind was so beautiful. I also feel such sadness for the burden of this disease on Peggy and the family as this is tragic for all to live through. Thank you Jim Barringer for being the fantastic human being you were. And heartfelt hugs and love to Peggy for the loss of the love of her life, her best friend and daily companion.
My deepest sympathies to Dr. Barringer and her family. Mr. Barringer was my high school English teacher for grades 11-13 (1979-1982). He had a profound impact on my life creating and inspiring a love of writing, reading, and music (particularly Bob Dylan) that I will be forever grateful for. So so many times over the years, I have thought of him and what he taught me. He challenged, guided, supported, and inspired He was quite simply, an extraordinary teacher and role model. I wish that I was able to thank him once more for all that he did for me.
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.