Barry Dearing’s roots in the Shuswap run deep. His grandfather, Edward (Ted) Dearing emigrated from England to Canada with his parents in 1890, eventually arriving in Salmon Arm. In 1913 Ted married Sarah (Ida) neé Churchill, and in 1917 they settled on their farm in Sunnybrae. Barry was one of their 20 grandchildren.
Other than his years away at the University of Victoria, and a year as an exchange teacher in Australia, Barry’s life was lived in the Shuswap. He was a respected teacher, school principal, mentor, basketball coach and referee. Everybody who knew him enjoyed his positive outlook and ever-present sense of humour.
Born in 1956, Barry graduated from high school in Salmon Arm, and obtained his education degrees at the University of Victoria. He spent 35 years of his life teaching and mentoring students and teachers, retiring in June 2013. For more than 30 years Barry refereed basketball games at all levels in the Salmon Arm area, throughout the province of BC, and also in Australia. He served as president of the local Basketball Officials Association for many years, was on the executive of the British Columbia Basketball Officials Association from 2010 – 2013, and also the Salmon Arm Golf Course and the Shuswap Children’s Association until his death.
Nadina Snell returned to Salmon Arm to teach in 1980. She & Barry were married in 1983. Son Kyle was born the following year. Together, they strengthened the Dearing bond with the Shuswap.
Throughout his life, in addition to basketball, Barry was involved in and enjoyed hockey, baseball, volleyball, tennis, gymnastics, scuba diving, and most recently, his passion, golf. Over the course of his long career he donated countless hours to children and sports. A passion for travel took Barry and his family to many places around the globe. Though his illness precluded him from fulfilling his retirement ‘bucket list’ of travels, family and friends have generously included Barry in their current journeys and adventures, all documented on a website, www.whereintheworldisbarry.ca.
The Dearing Family Endowment Fund was established to honour Barry’s memory and the impact he had on so many young lives. Within its first year, the fund had surpassed $19,000, a testament to the high regard in which Barry was held. A number of annual fundraisers, including a January Coin Blitz and a Shuswap Middle School Invitational Basketball Tournament, have been established for the fund, which is open to receiving donations in Barry’s memory via Shuswap Community Foundation. Income earned by the fund will be disbursed annually to School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) to pro-vide financial assistance to students at the elementary/middle school level who could benefit from financial support in order to pursue their educational endeavours, including artistic, musical and athletic pursuits.