John Kent Barrett

October 17, 2019


Kent was born in Manitoba in 1952 and raised in Toronto, before moving to Newfoundland in the 1970s to work with the Newfoundland Traveling Theatre Company.  Through his long association with the arts in Newfoundland, he amassed an impressive document of the music, theatre and arts scene in the province he loved.

We expect he uttered his last inappropriate comment shortly before October 17, 2019 when he was pronounced deceased, in his home.  To any who wonder if they ever met him, you didn’t – because you wouldn’t have to ask.  As a character of the first order, a great orator, and with a fondness for authority (his own, not others), he always had to have the last word. He never met a rule he couldn’t break, a boundary he couldn’t push, a line he couldn’t cross and a story he couldn’t stretch.  He was wicked smart and an expert photographer, as he’d have told you, if you’d asked, and even if you didn’t.  But you don’t have to look far to see that it was true. Kent was an artist, and his works have been exhibited in galleries across Canada from St. John’s to Victoria.

Kent leaves behind a daughter, Leslie, and two grandchildren, Sophia and Cole. He will be missed by his mother, Donna Kent (Ross),  his siblings, nephews..cousins and the like, and many other good people he was blessed to call friends.

He’ll be having a reunion with his dad Baz Barrett, grandparents, uncles, and a handful of friends that passed before him.  He was of the both-ends candle crowd and liked a tin or two , so they’ll be happy to see him.

Despite his crusty exterior, cutting remarks and stubbornness, there is actual evidence that he was a loving, giving and caring person.  The evidence is the deep sorrow and pain in our hearts that we feel from his passing.



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Whoever wrote the eulogy, nailed it. When I raised my head and went looking for old friends, and found this, my heart sank, and I think it might still be in my left sock. Half of me is amazed he made it this far, the other half is going damn!

It’s not too many people you can banter with at a particular level, and across such a broad spectrum, but Kent was one of them. Technology, science, the arts, photography (of course) but also what a messed up species we are and where all that might be going….or not.

What a shame you missed this crazy ride called Covid. I think, ok I know you would have had some fun with this.

Wherever you are, may there be beer!

Farewell Kent.
The Scream of Deadly Night Weasels are no more.
You left your Mark behind.
See you down there later.

You were alright to ride the river with, also.
Miss you much.

One of the best friends a man could ever have. Very few knew Kent as I did. A good sailor, beer and wine maker, awesome cook, and an artist of the finest kind. Kent you will be surly missed and remembered as my friend with pride.

The amazing Hercule Pernod has left the building.

Sue, what a lovely written tribute to your brother! We are so sorry to hear about Kent and our deepest condolences to you, Scott and your family. We are thinking of you at this difficult time…..Love Donna and Brian XX

Kent was one of kind. It’s been many years since I’ve seen him but I’ll remember him as being a wildly talented, wryly funny, very smart., and complicated man. A force to be reckoned with who made great images…his website has some gems. Sincere condolences and sympathy to his family. and loved ones.

Photographer, artist and curmudgeon extaordinaire–we will miss your wit and your feistiness. You were much admired by those who knew you. Bon voyage!

Kent and I spent time together in our early 20’s. We shared the Stage together many times, as well as a room at the infamous 100 Patrick Street. He showed me kindness at a time when I needed it.
Kent was a brilliant photographer and a creative talent.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

The day is darker for your going, Kent.

Ah Kent you challenged everything in a creative curmudgeonly way. So glad I got to share the stage with you. God bless

Beautiful words… love to Leslie, family and those who got him. May he rest In peace.

You old shagger. You didn’t ask my permission to die yet. Where shall we gather to raise a pint to your irreverence?

I am so sorry for your loss.

You were much loved despite yourself, you crusty old coot. Godspeed.

Lovely obituary for a man deserving of nothing less. Warm condolences to family and friends.

Kent, your first words to me were STFU and GO READ. They were the most heartfelt and sincere words, words that I will keep dear and near to me, words that drove me to read more and not stop.

On that day, I understood the chance encounter that lead to you, and to the jolly gang that TTFL was (is). It will not be the same without you, Kent. You will be terribly missed. You are irreplaceable.

Gosh darn, your French was impeccable, monsieur!

Drink one for me, Stabbi.

Warm condolences to his family and other friends. I’ve been a friend for 43 years and will miss him. Who wrote the obit? Well done!.

To the BARRETT family, please accept our sympathy at your loss. Debra and Rocky Cleveland

Miss you Brother. God Bless