Victor Francis Barclay was born October 17, 1929 in WaKeeney Kansas, to Elmer Glen Barclay and Blanche Fredrica (Pulver) Barclay. His grandparents were born in England and he was the third of four children. He was the last remaining of his siblings.
He was a thin, fair skinned, blue eyed, blonde headed boy. He went to several different schools growing up. The family moved when his dad had better work opportunities. As a child he spent summers working and staying on area farms returning to his home when school started. He survived a ruptured appendix while driving a farming tractor. He fell off, missed the blades and was fortunately found by the land owner. He didn’t wear shoes in the summers. He never complained or described his childhood as difficult. That positive attitude stayed with him throughout life as everyone who knew him will attest. One of his favorite games was running, while pushing a ball with a stick. He went to high school in Syracuse where he ran track finishing first, second or third in the mile, every race. He finished third at the Kansas State finals.
When he graduated high school, he joined the Navy during the Korean war. He was stationed in Guam, Hawaii, San Diego, Norfolk and Newport. He served on a destroyer escort the DE-509 USS Formoe and later became a member of the Destroyer Escort Sailor’s Association (DESA) where he enjoyed engaging with his service colleagues for decades to come. While stationed in Newport, he met the love of his life Dorothy Cole at a Thanksgiving dance. They were married the following April 5, 1952. He was honorably discharged May 2, 1952.
They moved back to Syracuse for a short time and had their first of three children, Dennis Clifford Barclay. Kansas was not a life Dorothy was used to and they soon returned to RI where Victor Francis Barclay, II and Brenda Lee Barclay were born.
Victor worked at Tower Iron Works where he soon established himself as a talented leader in steel building. He enrolled in college classes, training and development courses and learned his trade well. He was responsible for half the bridges in CT and RI, the Brown University ice hockey rink, one-man submarines, a hyperbaric chamber and many other structures. He accepted a position at Electric Boat division of General Dynamics where he was responsible for several foreman and over two hundred hourly employees. He took great pride in his team’s accomplishments and earned multiple achievement awards in leadership, management, fabricating and manufacturing processes. He retired on October 30, 1995.
Victor loved his family above all and cherished his many lifelong friendships. He brought his young family to visit his Kansas family throughout our lives. Perhaps most memorable for Brenda was their trip in 2012 to return to his place of birth in WaKeeney and visit every town he grew up in followed by attending his 65th class reunion in Syracuse. He loved fishing and boating on his “Wheat Whacker” with family weekends spent on the bay at Prudence Island and summers at Block Island.
He and Dorothy were blessed with one grandchild, Derek Scott Barclay Bernier, (Brenda) who they cherished and loved more than words can describe. In 1994, they took him to Fairbanks, Alaska in a motor home where they experienced and explored history and landmarks across the United States and Canada. After Brenda remarried (Steven Olsen) and moved to MT, the Army boys Derek and Travis filled their lives with hockey practices and school activities. Sue and Timmy with Derek and Travis have remained a part of Victor’s family.
When Dennis became affiliated with the Providence College Friar’s hockey team Dorothy and Victor became lifelong fans and supporters. 46 years season ticket holders!! The PC hockey program consumed their hockey seasons and filled their lives with wonderful memories and travel to many NCAA Championship Frozen Four Tournaments. In recent years, Victor traveled with his good friend Arthur and son, Victor, to the Frozen Four tournaments.
Dad was so motivated to make another trip to see his great grandchildren, (Bridger and Cerie) grandson-Derek and his wife Ainsley, daughter-Brenda and son-in-law Steve, but sadly COVID came and cancelled his flight last April. There are many casualties of Covid-19 that don’t include actually having the virus. We lost our time with him this past year but will treasure the times we had including celebrating his 90th birthday together last year. We are grateful that he lived his life independently, living in the family home with Victor and Dennis. He drove his car, picked up his Dunkin Donut’s coffee and enjoyed sitting by the water. He loved his ‘Patriot’s’ and the game of football. He was and will always be the original “Captain Sharpie”.
Things Dad said to us along the way…
Try to be the best at any job you do. Do the best you can with what you got.
Treat people the way you want to be treated.
If you wander down a path you’re not comfortable with get out of there and find the better path.
Practice at being good at what you like to do and study your whole life.
He taught his children to study, play sports, fish, skin-dive, boating, hunting, and a good work ethic.
Believe in God and His ways. Help others when you can. Treat all people equal.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday January 6, 2021 at 11:00 am in Our Lady of the Rosary, 21 Traverse Street, Providence. Mr. Barclay's Mass can be viewed live on the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Facebook page.
In lieu of flowers donations to American Heart Association 1 State St UNIT 200, Providence, RI 02908 or American Brain Tumor Association 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Ste 550 Chicago, IL 60631 in his memory would be appreciated.
American Heart Association
PO Box 417005, Boston MA 02241-7005
American Brain Tumor Association
8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Ste 550, Chicago IL 60631