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Barry “Clive” Hirst: 1959-2023


Barry Clive Hirst (known as Clive to most) passed away sadly and suddenly of a heart attack on December 17, 2023. He was born to Herbert and Audrey Hirst in Lytham St. Annes, England, on March 3, 1959.

As a child, he moved to Edmonds in 1967 when his father became employed at Boeing. He found his love for music, art, and writing at a young age. Musical talent came naturally and was his passion in life. 

During his youth in Edmonds, he was a member of the Boys Club and met John Harter, who became a treasured mentor in his childhood. He also found a love for climbing mountains through the Edmonds Junior High Climbing Club under the guidance of Mr. Powell.

At Edmonds High School, he was a member of the Mello-Aires and choir. After graduation in 1977, he attended Edmonds Community College and was a member of the Soundsation Jazz Choir. He and his friends had a “garage band” named Orpheus that close neighbors still remember and talk about decades later.

Clive was a local musician in the 1970s and 1980s, playing in many locations in Edmonds and the surrounding areas with his talented musical partner, Ron.

Clive’s other passion was the outdoors and everything about it. He was an avid mountain climber, outdoorsman, fisherman, bird watcher, and wilderness survivalist. He had a gentle, caring soul, loved animals, and was kindred in spirit.

After several visits to Alaska, he settled in Fairbanks and made a life playing music and enjoying the fantastic adventures in the area. Clive performed at the historic Malemute Saloon and Ester Gold Camp in a show called “Service with a Smile,” where he expertly and entertainingly played music and recited the poetry of the famous Robert Service.

His recitals of The Cremation of Sam McGee and the Shooting of Dan McGrew were mesmerizing to his tourist audiences. In 1997, he married Cheryl in a fun-filled Gold Rush Era-themed wedding at this historic venue. His wife Cheryl was a teacher and had an opportunity to teach in a remote Alaskan Village called Nondalton.

It was a big adventure, and Clive was in his element in the wilderness teaching music to the native children, who previously had no music program in the tiny fishing village accessible primarily by air and water. The teaching contract ended, and they moved back to Fairbanks, where he continued to work as a musician at Ivory Jack’s and other local venues. He also worked as a taxi driver and waiter when not playing music.

In 2009, after his divorce from Cheryl and as chapters of his life had changed, he decided to come back to Edmonds and help his sister take care of their dear Mum and her dog Simba so she could stay in her much-loved home in downtown Edmonds for as long as possible. 

His mother was an accomplished artist, and art came naturally to him. His love for the mountains and wilderness comes alive in his detailed black-and-white sketches of actual scenery and amazing fantasy landscapes of his imagination.

He is survived by his siblings Wendy (Hirst) Kondo, Roger Hirst, and Terry Daniel; his nieces Jamie (Mike Arrington), Aubrey, and Chloe Hirst; nephew Dylan Kondo (Christina); and grandnieces Esther, Audrey, Alison, Quinn, and Charlee. 

Clive lived his life by his rules. He was passionate about life and his values. He believed in truth, honesty, integrity, and love. He was brave, loyal, compassionate, kind, generous, and always willing to lend a hand to friends and strangers alike.

One of his friends once told me, “Clive never needed or asked for much. He would give you the shirt off his back if you were in need.” He prayed for peace for our world and all within our hearts. He is now free to fly like Peter Pan into his adventurous, exciting, and everything he imagined into a Neverland he called Heaven.

Here are some words from Clive:

“We don’t have wings nor feathers for flight,

But we have a soul, a soul full of light.

When we pass on our spirits will rise,

Blow away with the wind and melt into the sky.”

Sail away into a restful and peaceful place, dear Clive. You will live, play, and sing forever in our hearts. We will never forget you and all the lives that you touched with your music and giving soul.

In memory of Clive, you are encouraged to donate to a charity that benefits nature, the outdoors, music, or one that brings you joy. Most importantly, he would want you to love and live your true self, keep calm, and carry on!

Please share your memories at A Celebration of Life shindig will be held in July 2024. Family and friends will be invited to share their stories and play some music in his honor. We are thankful to all the guests who showed up for the public celebration of his life held by his community in front of the Edmonds Waterfront Center on December 28, 2023.