Jean Barkhouse

Link to Funeral Service Video:


It is with deep sadness that we announce our beloved matriarch Helen ‘Jean’ Barkhouse (age 93) passed away peacefully on February 19, 2023 in St. Martha’s Regional Hospital, surrounded by family.

Born February 6, 1930 in Lakeville, Kings Co., N.S., she was the daughter of the late Lottie (Cahoon) and J. Stanley Power.

Jean grew up in Lakeville, N.S. and married the love of her life Walter Barkhouse in 1952, then moved to Antigonish where they raised their family of five children. She was a longtime hairdresser, working out of her home beauty parlour. She was a skilled craftsperson who knitted and crocheted numerous cherished items over the years, right up until this past Christmas. Jean was an excellent baker, particularly known for her biscuits, lemon pies and fabulous fruit cakes. She loved doing her daily puzzles (but never won the lexicon) and enjoyed watching her soap operas and nightly game shows. She had an incredible memory, never forgot a birthday, and thoroughly enjoyed celebrating with friends and family on her 90th birthday Caribbean cruise. 

She was a dedicated St. James United Church member and an active participant in the UCW for over 50 years, partaking in many church functions and events, and sang in the church choir. Jean and Walter enjoyed socializing with their close-knit circle of friends, playing many a card game, and travelled exploring many parts of the world. For many years they wintered in Florida, and made Malignant Cove, Antigonish Co. their summer home. Jean’s friendship bonds were especially meaningful following spousal losses in recent years.

A true matriarch, she was immensely proud of her family and never hesitated to boast of their achievements and stressed the importance of carrying on the family name. Jean diligently attended countless concerts, sporting events, and graduations of all her grandchildren and great grandchildren over the years. Family members never left her house without a hug and a wave from the front door as you drove away. A fiercely independent lady, she proudly maintained her own home, and was the last original resident of MacDonald Street. She faced all challenges head on with an edge of ‘stubborn’ determination.

Jean is lovingly remembered and survived by sons Brian (Doreen), River Bourgeois; David (June), Clydesdale; daughters Kimberley (Mark) Hansen, Halifax; and Lori (Allen Dawson), Antigonish; special ‘daughter’ Lorraine Lays, and brother Harold (Marion) Power, Coldbrook. She was a devoted grandmother adored by her 12 grandchildren Cara, Krista, Andrew, Amy, Nicole, Debra, Keith, Todd, Darren, Isabella Rae, Mitchell and Quinn, and three step grandchildren Tracey, Angie and Jessica. Her beloved 29 great-grandchildren and six step great-grandchildren will remain cozy for years to come wrapped in her numerous knitted blankets, sweaters and mittens.

She was pre-deceased by her husband Walter in 2017 after 65 years of marriage; son Robert, daughter-in-law Mary, as well as siblings Doris (Nick) Nichols, Shirley (Gordon) Deal, William (Audrey) Power, Hilma (George) Frank; and sister-in-law Jessie. Visitation will be Wednesday, February 22nd from 2-4 and 6-8 pm in MacIsaac Funeral Home, Antigonish. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, February 23rd at 2:00 pm in St. James United Church, Main Street, Antigonish, Reverend Doug Stewart presiding; burial at a later date in St. James/St. Paul's Cemetery.

We would like to thank those special people, who with their care and support, enabled Jean to remain in her own home. Special thanks are also extended to Dr. Rod MacNeil and the nursing staff at St. Martha's Regional Hospital for their compassionate care in her final days.

Donations may be made to the St. James United Church or a charity of your choice.