Sunday, 16 November 2014

Obituary - Barry Talbot Gratton

The obit I wrote for my father in law with help from his sister Maylene.

 On June 13, 1945 Frederick and Phyllis Gratton, welcomed the second child to their family, Barry Talbot. Four years later Barry and his brother Rodney were joined by a little sister, Maylene.

Early on, the family lived in Bent Street, Moonee Ponds where Barry attended the Moonee Ponds Central School. Later they moved to Dublin Avenue, Strathmore and Barry completed his primary education at the Strathmore Primary School. The Gratton's moved to Lebanon Street, Strathmore and it was while they lived here that Barry attended Glenroy Technical School.

From an early age Barry was always building something, whether it be billy carts or cubby houses, some of which were underground. Barry always wanted to be a builder, but times were tough and he could not get an apprenticeship. On leaving school he became a sales representative for Hemingway and Picket, a cigarette distributor. However, he longed to work with his hands and so became a handyman, specialising in hanging doors.

In his teenage years Barry loved to go ferreting and shooting at the family weekender, Konagaderra. Later he enjoyed camping and water skiing at Lake Eppalock. Always the gentleman, Barry would make steps down to the water, where ever he camped. He was always there to help you.

Barry loved to dance to rock n roll music. It was on one of these night's out at the Heidelberg Town Hall that Barry met Katheryn Butterworth. Little did he know, they would be together for over 40 years. Barry married Katheryn at St Andrew's Church of England, Rosanna on January 13, 1968.

After they married the happy couple lived in Lalor. It was here in 1971 that the first of their three boys, Stephen was born. Three years later Warren came into the world and then finally Brock in 1977. The late 70's saw the family move to Mill Park. It was here in around 1980 a little boy followed the three Gratton brothers home from a play ground. Unfortunately they gave him something to eat... Wray has been a member of the family ever since.

Sam & Annie Butterworth, Katheryn & Barry, Phyllis & Frederick Gratton
Barry's love of the outdoors carried into his adult life with his own family: camping; fishing and water skiing. Nearly every school holidays were spent traveling from Melbourne to stay at the Everton caravan park. They loved their time here so much that Barry and Kathy would later relocate their family to the North East. Barry working as a caretaker at the caravan park.

After living at Everton for a few years they would move to Markwood and then later Wangaratta.

While they lived at Everton in the early 1990's, Barry began working at Bruck Textiles. He continued working here for around 15 years, until leaving in around 2006 to take care of Kathy when she fell ill. In December 2005 Barry named Bruck's employee of the month.

If you know Barry, you know he loved a good bargain. The Mill Park days is when the Garage Sale King started his reign. Barry, with boys in tow, would drive around the neighbourhood on council clean up days hunting for treasures. It would soon become a family tradition that Saturday mornings were spent going through the paper and visiting as many garage sales as possible. This continued when the family moved to the North East and it still continues today with their sons and grandchildren heading out early most weekends.

Barry's biggest joy was his family. His pride in his boys was evident to all. As his boys grew and started families of their own, he was able to pass on his many handy man skills to another generation. There was nothing around the house that he could not build or fix. He would take turns, going from one sons house to the next, working on whatever project he felt needed doing – whether the family was ready or not.

Barry was a kind, caring and loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, father in law and friend to all that had the pleasure to know him. He will be missed by all, but his legacy continues in the family he has left behind.
L to R: Stephen, Kathy, Warren, Barry & Brock Gratton

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