Barry Joe Aiton
March 2, 2023
The kindest loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend left us on January 24, 2023 after an unexpected illness. Barry was born in Englewood, Colorado, the third of the six children of Barbara and Bill Aiton. At an early age Barry developed a love of sports, playing baseball and football in school. That love continued throughout his life--whether playing as an athlete, coaching, or as a spectator. Barry had an equal love of the outdoors, backpacking and skiing the Colorado Rockies with family and friends. While visiting the Pacific NW in the 1970's, Barry fell in love with the beauty of the area and never left. His interest in sports and the outdoors continued there, and he played fast pitch softball and went skiing and backpacking in his new home. Barry discovered his love of flying, received a commercial pilot instrument license, and began a career as a commercial pilot. He held various flying jobs but the majority of his career was spent as an aerial photographer, which took him to different parts of the western US. Along the way he married Jill, the love of his life, the two of them made a family with sons Adam, Ross and Blain, and lived in the Seattle area. When Barry and Jill were looking for their retirement home they re-visited Cathlamet, WA, and found their dream home on the Columbia River, where they have lived for the past 10 years. Barry and Jill were original partners in the local brewery, River Mile 38, and they made many friends in the community while running the Brewery. Barry and Jill never tired of watching the River change with the weather, the tides, the birds and the seasons, often grabbing the binoculars to get a better look at whatever came by as the River flowed past their home. They enjoyed boating, fishing, and kayaking on the Columbia River and hiking the hills and woods in the area. The Cathlamet community welcomed Barry and Jill from the day they arrived and the community's kindness toward Jill during her loss has been comforting. Barry will be remembered for his love of people, his unrelenting sense of humor, his sense of adventure, and his caring for others. Barry made friends wherever he went and was known to take thirty minutes to walk down Main Street in Cathlamet, talking to anyone he passed whether he knew them or not. He liked to add that Main Street is only a few blocks long. Barry's enjoyment of being with family and friends came through in his caring, humor, warmth, and his love of just having fun every day.
While Barry and Jill had always loved traveling together, their traveling began in earnest when they retired in Cathlamet. They visited New Zealand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, Portugal, England, Scotland, Thailand and Vietnam. They had made plans to travel to Belize, Egypt and Greece this year as well. Barry loved meeting people around the world and talked easily with everyone he met. Barry always found a way to communicate even in a language he didn't know. He once spoke Spanish to a man in Thailand, going to his second language automatically, before Jill reminded him that they were in Thailand.
Barry was preceded in death by his parents Bill and Barbara, brother Don, and sister Peggy. Barry is survived by his wife Jill, sons Adam (Kelli), Ross (Lyndsie), and Blain (Chelsey), grandchildren Violet, Dori, Vincent, and Aubrey, siblings Winnie (Dana), Mike (Debbie), and Carol, Jill's siblings, and many nieces and nephews in both their families. His loss leaves a void in the lives of those who loved him, both family and friends.
If you would like to make a donation in Barry's name, please donate to the Wahkiakum County Democratic Party. If you are not a Democrat, our local animal rescue group, Cathlamet WAAG, would be a good option. An event spent remembering Barry will be held in Cathlamet at a later date.
- Paid Obituary -