Norma Barratt
Norma Barratt
Norma Barratt

Obituary of Norma Barratt

It is with sadness that the family of Norma (Noni) Barratt announces her passing at York Care Centre on February 13, 2024, at the age of 78, after a heartbreaking struggle with dementia.  Noni is survived by her son Dr. Michael Fleming (Monique Gignac), sister Patricia Davidson, and brother David Cail, all of Fredericton, NB, as well as a nephew Jim (Lisa) of Quispamsis, NB.  She was predeceased by her parents Bernice and Wallace Cail, younger sister Lorraine of Fredericton, NB, and husband Arthur Barratt of Oromocto, NB.

Noni was born in Woodstock, NB, and raised in Fredericton.  She graduated from Fredericton High School in 1966 and soon set off for adventure in Toronto, where she worked with Southam Business Publishing for several years.  Deciding that the big city was not for her, Noni returned to Fredericton in her mid-twenties before embarking on her next adventure – this time to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, where she worked for the Provincial Government. Later, she was offered a position in Bonavista, NL, teaching business English and office administration at the College of the North Atlantic. Noni was a passionate teacher and a thorough grammarian, never losing an opportunity to correct someone’s misuse of lay, laid or lain, or any other of her pet peeves. It was while in Newfoundland that she gave birth to her son Michael, who she loved beyond measure and vowed to protect at any cost, whether he needed it, or liked it, or not.


Even though Noni loved Newfoundland culture, she and her son Michael eventually moved back to the Fredericton area, where she was afforded an opportunity to work at the Jobstart Program in Oromocto.  It was in this position that she found her true calling, and completed the work that she was most proud of: connecting at risk young adults with viable employment opportunities.  Many of those she helped write resumés for credited Noni with helping them turn their lives around and would often recognize her years after their involvement in the program to offer their thanks and appreciation. Noni ended her career working in various administrative positions at CFB Gagetown, retiring in 2012.  While working on base she developed many friendships and refused to retire until her physical health made it difficult to continue.  After retirement, Noni developed an interest in painting and drawing.


Anybody who knew Noni knows that she loved to be the life of the party.  She was happiest amongst her friends and cherished the energy of being at the centre of excitement. Those who knew her well would also remember her for three things:  her amazing homemade apple pies, her love of ‘sitting in the sun’ with a cold beer, and her unending passion for yard-saling, the latter to the chagrin of her son, who was often the beneficiary of her latest treasures. For Noni, the thrill of the bargain hunt made summer Saturday mornings her favourite time of the year.  Her family hopes that those who knew her will think of her the next time they pass a yard sale on a warm summer morning.


Throughout her life, Noni had a great love for the underdog, both figuratively and literally.  This led her to share her life with several rescued animals, starting with a 200-pound St. Bernard that she shared a bachelor apartment with in St. John’s, and many more appropriately sized pets later in life – including a bullmastiff that she single-handedly rescued from neglectful neighbours by herself, in the middle of the night, simply telling them that he was her dog now.


In the last years of her life, Noni’s world became devastatingly smaller and more isolated as the ravages of dementia slowly robbed her of her memories as well as her mobility.  Fortunately, as the staff of York Care Centre fondly remembered, remnants of her feisty personality remained intact until her last days. Noni’s family wishes to thank the caring staff of Birch Grove and Tower Two at York Care Centre for their unwavering care despite short staffing, challenges of COVID-19, and the undervaluing of their critically important work.  They became like family for Noni, and the family commends them for truly making the best of an unenviable situation.

There will be no service or visitation at Noni’s request. A private celebration of Noni’s life will be held at a later date. Those interested in making a donation in Noni’s memory are asked to consider their local SPCA.  Noni’s family also suggests that all those who are close to people living with dementia make an effort to visit them often, even though it can be difficult to watch them slip away, and to treasure the moments and memories they can share.  A seemingly insignificant gesture or a simple act of kindness can really make and brighten the day of someone struggling with the loneliness of dementia. Arrangements are entrusted to Modern Celebrations and Cremations.

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