Dr. Efrain G. "Papi" Barrera


Efrain passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at the Hôpital de Hull in Gatineau, Que., on Jan. 14, 2021. He was 95.


He leaves behind his loving wife Aura Marina Barrera (Ruiz); children, Neyda (James) Long, Militza (David G.) Villarroel, Efrain E. (Raquel) Barrera, Myriel Barrera; his grandchildren Jorge Barrera, Maria Emilia Barrera, David Elias (Maja) Villarroel, M. Cristina Villarroel, Carlos E. Villarroel, Carolyn (Cody) Gerhardt, Ephraim E. (Hailey) Barrera, Jeremiah, Joshua and Ezekiel Barrera; his great-grandchildren, Vina and Adiala Barrera, Orayo and Marseo Villarroel, Leonor and Rebeca Sifontes.


He was predeceased by his first wife Maria Emilia Barrera (Camacho) and 6 siblings.


Efrain was born on Dec. 12, 1925, in La Guaira DF, Venezuela, to Nicasio Barrera and Catalina Padron. He was the youngest of seven children and grew up along the shores of the Caribbean Sea. 


Efrain studied medicine at the Central University of Venezuela and graduated as a Medical Doctor on Aug. 28, 1953. He then went to the Rehabilitation Institute of Montreal in 1954 where he graduated on Nov. 26, 1956, as a Specialist in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Physiatry).


Efrain returned to Venezuela in 1956 as one of the first physiatrists on the continent. He became a key player in making the country the first in Latin America to develop medical rehabilitation services on a national scale.  He co-founded the National Centre for Rehabilitation Services in 1968 which led to the creation of a network of 17 rehabilitation centres throughout the country.


Efrain was an active member of the Glad Tidings Church in Moncton. He served on its board, volunteered in its soup kitchen and, along with his first wife Maria Emilia, prepared the monthly communion -- slicing bread into small cubes and filling small cups with grape juice.


In retirement, Efrain moved to Gatineau, Que., to be near his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Efrain was an avid sports and Blue Jays fan, attending a Jays and Yankees game for his 90th birthday


Efrain also enjoyed fine food, cheeses and despaired over the political crisis that continues to grip Venezuela. 


A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Cremation has taken place. Arrangements in Care of Pinecrest Remembrance Services, Ottawa.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations, should you wish, donations to your local food bank would be appreciated by Papi’s family.