Stephen M. Barry
EASTHAMPTON – Stephen M. Barry died at home, on the evening of December 9th, 2020. He was born August 11, 1948 in Corpus Christi, TX, to John R. Barry, of Newton, MA; and Phyllis M. (Holdsworth) Barry, of Passaic, New Jersey.
Stephen (who preferred “Steve” or even “Steve-O”) later grew up in Cazenovia and Syracuse, NY, and Guilford, CT; his father had been a decorated Navy Pilot during World War II; his mother Phyllis was a Navy air traffic control operator during the same period; after Phyllis’ death in 1954, John’s second wife Lois P. Betts (from Buffalo, NY) became Steve’s stepmother in 1956.
Steve graduated from Guilford High School in 1966 and immediately enlisted in the Air Force, serving in Germany during the Vietnam era until 1970; his main military training during this period was in electronic and mechanical maintenance of aircraft missiles.
After the Service, he and his wife Anne-Marie (married in 1972) eventually moved to Easthampton to raise their family as he began his career with the U.S. Post Office in the mid-‘70s. He worked for the Springfield Bulk Mail Center for almost 20 years before he became the Postmaster in Plainfield, MA in 1993; he retired in 2006. He also worked as a volunteer elder services care worker, taking part in local “Meals on Wheels” programs in the area.
Steve’s various interests, loves and hobbies throughout the years included building model airplane kits, working as a veterinary aide in his teen years, creating string art, riding his Triumph motorcycle or driving his MG sports car, watching “Star Trek,” listening to ‘60s psychedelic music (the Beatles and the Rolling Stones being two of his favorite bands) or ‘70s rock & roll, learning to juggle, taking his sailboat out on local ponds & lakes, studying World War II history, watching classic films and TV shows, being a member of the College Church of Northampton, studying classic automobiles and going to car shows, cheering on the Boston Red Sox, photography (especially of fall foliage), packing his wood stove in the winter, backyard parties in the spring & summer, traveling around the U.S. whenever he could, hanging out with his many friends at the VFW in Florence and the American Legion of Haydenville, attending air shows at Westover Air Reserve or Barnes Air National Guard Bases, occasional lunches with family members at Cracker Barrel, Ruby Tuesday or Red Robin, holiday family dinners back in Guilford or up in North Adams, MA., and summer vacations down at the Jersey shore, in Cape May Court House. Any invitation to free food of any kind was met with an enthusiastic, “I’ll be there!” And although he could sometimes be known for his crusty or cranky exterior, most who knew & loved him would agree he also had a soft, gooey center, and he was capable of some of the sweetest behavior, often when you least expected it. Of perhaps utmost importance to him was his faith as a born-again Christian, and his belief in Jesus Christ as his personal savior.
Steve is survived by his aunt Marilyn Restione of Cape May Court House, NJ; former wife Anne-Marie Crean of North Adams, MA; his son Shaun Barry and daughter-in-law Trish Neild-Barry of Enfield CT; his daughter Cristin Lawson of North Adams; stepdaughter Alanna Owen and her husband Greg of Hadley, MA; his sisters Priscilla Kimball (Don) of Concord, NH; Patricia O’Quinn (Ron) of Surf City, NC; Susan Adams (Bill) of Willimantic, CT; and Janet Barry (Tim Lewis) of Boston, MA; at least 6 close cousins on his mother’s and aunt’s sides; step-grandkids Helen & Laura Lawson (and great-grandchild Noah); and his loving grandchildren Aileen, Samantha, Alexandra and Joshua Barry.
Boucher-O’Brien Funeral Home in Easthampton has been entrusted with Stephen’s cremation; his service will be held at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam at a later date, and will most likely be private for family only, due to Covid-restrictions. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations in Stephen’s name be sent to: American Legion Riders Post 236, 5 Bridge St., Haydenville, MA 01039.