George W. “Nick” Barlow II
The ruffed grouse in Virginia can sleep soundly tonight. Nick Barlow passed away peacefully at The Colonnades on August 25, 2023. Nick was born in Charlottesville on November 7, 1932 to George W. and Sarah G. Barlow, and like his father, was a bird hunter, trout fisherman and outdoorsman. He and his sister Becky, who survives him, grew up on Hilltop Road. Losing his left eye while splitting wood as a boy never slowed him down, or affected his aim, for nine decades. Leaving Virginia Episcopal School, where he served as Head Counselor, Nick headed for his beloved University of Virginia, where he captained the track team, and was a member of Beta Theta Pi and Eli Banana. While at Virginia, he spent a summer working on railroads in Alaska, an experience that gave rise to tales of adventure he shared for the rest of his life. After graduating in 1957, and traveling in Europe for several months, he worked briefly at State Farm and then moved on to Keller & George, founded by his grandfather, where he worked until he retired. Nick loved helping customers design and purchase beautiful things, and was especially fond of making special hand deliveries of engagement rings to hopeful young men. He met Donna on a ski slope in February of 1962 and they were married the following August. Their 57 years together were filled with UVA sporting events, family travel in the U.S. and abroad, beach trips to Hatteras, backpacking in Shenandoah National Park, and well cooked meals at home on the patio and in Charlottesville restaurants. An avid vegetable gardener all his life, he planted multiple gardens at home on Woodstock Drive, or in the city gardens, or on Old Ivy Road, or in Highland County. Nick grew every vegetable and fruit one could grow in this zone, and was known for his cherry conserve, chutney, and especially green tomato (that’s tuh-maw-tuh) pickle. In March of each year, he could be found at their place in Highland County, running off a few quarts of maple syrup from trees he tapped. Nick cared for and supported the community in which he lived, as a member of the boards of the Retail Merchants Association, Chamber of Commerce, Martha Jefferson Hospital, St. Anne’s-Belfield School, the Charlottesville-Albemarle Community Foundation, and Farmington Country Club, among others. In retirement, Nick and Donna spent much time on the Jackson River in Highland County with family and friends, and he honed his skills as a water-colorist; many of his paintings grace living rooms around town. A lifelong love of bird hunting included a lifelong appreciation for English setters, and so Nick enjoyed the company of setters Timmy, Beau, Pam, Greta, Floyd, Worth and Bradley in the grouse thickets of the Blue Ridge and Alleghenies. In addition to Becky, Nick leaves behind his son George (Cricket) and daughter-in-law Audi, his daughter Ashley and daughter-in-law Jill McGarry, and his granddaughters Sarah (Tom Wasko), Kate (Henry Clark), and Emily. As an avid sports fan, Nick supported the athletic endeavors of his children and grandchildren all of his days. As a bird hunter and fly fisherman, Nick could out-walk companions half his age, and was ever interested in the plants, birds, geologic formations and streams he would encounter. He engendered a love of the outdoors in his children and grandchildren, and his wry sense of humor and his skill at making an old fashioned (no sugar!) will be missed. The family would like to thank Meiping, Denise, Sherika, Laura, Miranda, Candy, Carrie, Cheryl, Mary, Sandra, Tsering, Esther, Tanya and Janice of the Reminiscence Neighborhood at The Colonnades, who cared for Nick for the last five years with grace, patience and compassion; Drs. Rebecca Mullan, Christina Tieu, and Lindsay Friesen; and the Hospice of the Piedmont providers who joined the Colonnades staff in caring for him in his last days. Because the pandemic precluded a celebration of Donna’s life in 2020, a memorial service for Donna and Nick will be held on Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s Ivy Episcopal Church in Ivy, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, consider donating to the University of Virginia Athletics Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, or Virginia Episcopal School.