Barrett, J. David


Dr. John David Barrett

Feb 5, 1940 – Apr 5, 2016



Dr. Barrett was born Feb 5, 1940 at St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver to his parents John David Barrett Sr. and Margaret Barrett (nee Wood). His final days were also spent at St. Paul’s before passing away peacefully Apr 5, 2016, and after a valiant fight against cancer. Dr. Barrett is survived by his brother Jim (Jimmy) Barrett as well as his stepsons John Carl Wirtz and Gregory Scott Wirtz.

Dr. Barrett lived a remarkably full life and he will be remembered by many people for his extraordinary intellect, his calm and quiet confidence, and his passion for life and the people in his life.

Dr. Barrett graduated from the UBC Faculty of Forestry in 1965, and went on to complete his PhD in Wood Science at the University of California, Berkeley in 1971. It was there at Berkeley that he met his wife of many years Lyndall Barrett and her three young sons, John, Alan (predeceased) and Gregory, with whom David remained close throughout his life. The family moved to Vancouver in 1971 where Dr. Barrett began his career in wood science with the Western Forest Products Lab.

In his professional career, Dr. Barrett was a leader in the field of Wood Mechanics and Timber Engineering. His work and talents were respected and recognized internationally as exemplified by many awards that he won including the Wood Award; L.J. Markwardt Wood Engineering Award; FRBC Forest Excellence Award; Dr. Hideo Sugiyama Award to name a few.

Dr. Barrett joined UBC 1984 as the Head of the Harvesting and Wood Science Department and served as Head for a total of 15 years. He played a major role in developing the undergraduate Wood Products Processing program and in establishing the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing.

A celebration of David’s life was hold at Point Grey Golf and Country Club on Sunday May 15, 2016 from 2-4pm. Family, friends and colleagues of David’s were present to the event and a fund is being established in Dr. Barrett’s memory to be used to recognize academic excellence in the field of Wood Mechanics and Timber Engineering.