Saturday, May 19, 2012

Today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.

 Dear Grampy, 

        When I was a little girl, I used to worry a lot.  I worried about the day that my nanny and grampy would die, so every night I prayed that that would never happen, and that didn't seem unreasonable.  Even then, I knew our family would reel and spin out of control without you.  And up until you got really sick, I still thought you would be here forever.  Forever.  I didn't come to the hospital to see you when you were sick.  I didn't come down a lot.  I didn't want to see proof, that my world--that you-- were frail.  The Earth should have stopped spinning when you left.
       Beautiful nanny, is so strong.  Grampy, she misses you, but she keeps us all together.  She still smiles, even though I know it must be difficult.  She comforts all of us when we miss you.  She knows you are still here.
       Grampy John, I miss you so much. Everything going on in my life that seems unbearable, makes me want to talk to you. You always knew the best solution for everything, and you always said the right things. Family, school, personal stuff... You just got it.
      Your house was my haven. It was where I could feel grounded again, and remember everything would be alright with the world because you and nanny were there. I love you.  Love, Joanna

BELLOWS FALLS — John P. Barry, 86, one of Vermont’s longtime leading educators died at his home on Thursday, May 19th, surrounded by his loving family.
            He was born July 26, 1924 to William and Maude (Boyle) Barry of Bellows Falls, Vermont. He was predeceased by his sister Mary Barry Parrot. He is survived by his soul-mate and the love of his life, his wife of 63 years, Estelle “Topsy” (O’Connor) Barry, and five children: Christopher (Julie Smith) Barry of Westminster, Mary Kay (Timothy) Pfadenhauer of Bellows Falls, Julie (Raymond) Chamberland of Bellows Falls, Barbara (Michael) Janiszyn of Springfield, and Stephen (Valerie) Barry of Westminster. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Robert (Betty) O’Connor of Littleton, NH, several nieces and nephews and fifteen grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.   
Grampy with Michael.
Grampy with Stella.
            Mr. Barry graduated from Bellows Falls High School in 1943 and served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. In his educational career, he earned a B.S. from the University of Vermont, an M.Ed from Boston University, a C.A.G.S. from the University of Connecticut and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from the College of St. Joseph. During a distinguished and storied career as an educator, Mr. Barry taught in public elementary and secondary classrooms, instructed in college, was a principal in elementary and junior high school, served as Director of Guidance, Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Special Education Coordinator, and Federal Funds Coordinator.  Mr. Barry was also Director of the Education Department at Windham College in Putney, Vermont.                                   
            Four Vermont governors selected Mr. Barry to serve on education committees during his career as an educator.  In tribute to his open-mindedness and respect for his educational colleagues, John Barry served two terms on the Board of Directors of the National Education Association and represented all Vermont teachers in Washington DC.
            He left his distinguished career in public school teaching and administration in 1979 to spend the last 15 years of his professional life teaching young children at Kurn Hattin Homes.
            What most people would describe as burdens – caring for ill and aging friends and relatives, helping disadvantaged children, and giving aid and love to his extended family– Mr. Barry considered a privilege.
            In this respect, the value of John Barry’s existence may be found in the spirit of Mr. Barry’s teaching and leadership that he communicated with love and kindness to family, friends, students, and peers during a memorable and legendary lifetime of compassionate service. 
            Calling hours for Mr. Barry will be held on Tuesday, May 24th, from 4:00-7:00 pm at the Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls, VT. A Mass honoring Mr. Barry’s life will be co-celebrated by Father Joseph O’Keeffe and Father Lance Harlow at Saint Charles Church in Bellows Falls, VT, at 11:00 am on Wednesday, May 25th. An open reception after Mr. Barry’s funeral service will be held at the Kurn Hattin Dining Hall in Westminster, VT.
            In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kurn Hattin Homes, Westminster, VT, to endow the John P. Barry Children's Fund.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

- John F. Kennedy

Your dearly missed Deet Deet, you and your family are in my prays everyday. I have carried the rosary you gave me everywhere I have been deployed and it will continue to go with me. I truely think of you as a grandfather and a great mentor, I just hope that one day I can be half the man you were. From one servicemen to another fair winds and following seas in your new adventure, and thank you for your service.

Love you forever
Robbie Shaughnessy

 Happy Birthday to one of the best human beings I had the pleasure of knowing!!!I know for sure that Steve and I had a lot to do with the gray hair you had in your earlier years! I miss you, love you and thanks for everything you did for more thing, please give my mom a kiss from me! - Steve Keefe.

 You will be deeply missed! Mr barry! You were a big part of my life @ kurn hattin homes! Along with your daughter who taught me in 3rd grade! And for everything you family has done 4 me! Thanx! And i will always luv you guys! For making me a better person. So R.I.P - mr. Barry! And may god bless your whole family! In this time of need! And thanx again!  - Heather Breed.

Johnny B will be missed by all that knew him-his compassion and caring for all. I certainly feel grateful to have known him- very important part of my life. - Doris Eddy

Mr. Barry taught me at Kurn Hattin in the Fourth grade. Because of the way this man taught me I have always been obsessed with numbers. The way he taught us all math. You will be so dearly missed by all Mr. Barry. Love to your family. R.I.P. -Doris Hutchinson.

When I was 8 years old, I met Mr. Barry. My mom died and I was sent to Kurn Hattin in 1985. I believe God had a lot to do with me going there because that is where I met Mr. Barry and my life changed forever. He took me under his wing and helped me through this very sad and trying time in my life. I loved Mr. Barry very much. He was my fourth grade teacher, and lifelong friend. He meant very very much to me from the time I was 8 years old and even now. I did not have much reason to live after my mom passed away (or so I thought) but then I met my 4th grade teacher who gave me a reason to live. I never wanted to let my teacher down even as I grew older and so my thoughts became about how to improve my life so I could help someone else. This was what Mr. Barry taught me. He taught me that life was important and that we never know when someone will be in need of our help and love like I had been when I first met him. There are many lessons that Mr. Barry taught me about life that I will never forget and will always be sure to teach the youth under my leadership. I miss him a very very much but my memories of him I will cherish always.
To my teacher, my lifelong friend and the person who cared about me and showed me love when no one else did, Mr. John P. Barry - I love you and you will be with me forever in my heart. Thank you, Mr. Barry just for being who you always were and for making a difference in my life that I cannot explain accurately only live. Thank you for giving me my life back and helping me to become the young woman that I am today. I truly do miss you and I think I always will.  -Michele Hutchinson.

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