Edward Graper Barry Jr.
July 5, 1932 – April 24, 2021
Edward Graper Barry Jr. passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at home in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was born on July 5, 1932 in Hot Springs to Edward Graper Carmack Barry and Ada Celestia Edwards Barry. He often regaled his family with his fond memories of growing up in the Spa City during a time when it was a national vacation hotspot.
His family moved briefly to Arkadelphia, where Edward graduated from high school in 1949. He attended Henderson State from 1949-51, and transferred to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He earned a master's degree in Physics in the early 1970s in Little Rock.
At Fayetteville, Edward played the cornet in the Razorback Marching Band, and was a member of Theta Tau engineering fraternity. He also took part in the campus Air Force ROTC program. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Air Force, where he trained as a navigator and spent three years on active duty in Okinawa, Japan. He later served in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1982. He flew aircraft such as the B-29, C-123B, C-124, C-130 and KC-135, and was a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars.
He had a successful career as an engineer at Arkansas Power & Light (now Entergy) in industrial sales and account management from 1958 until 1991, and had many entertaining stories about the colorful people he met and friendships he established while traveling the state visiting Arkansas businesses and factories.
Edward grew up in a musical family and would often say “music is my first love.“ His father was an Irish tenor who had a weekly music show on KTHS radio broadcast out of Hot Springs’ Arlington Hotel, and he was once a semi-finalist at the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. Edward Jr. was an accomplished tenor himself, performing lead roles with the Arkansas Opera Theater.
He met his wife Marian Hurley Barry while singing in the St. Mark’s Church choir, and they sang there together for more than 40 years. It was one of the many things they enjoyed doing together.
Among his other interests, Edward was a HAM radio enthusiast and held an active license (W5PFQ) from the time he was a teen. Edward could build or repair just about anything, including constructing his own family television set and HAM radio antennas. He also enjoyed playing piano, which he taught himself to play, and was an avid runner for more than 50 years. In addition, Edward greatly enjoyed traveling, both as an Air Force navigator, with his wife, and his family. He could always be relied on to map out a journey and get you there on time.
Edward was a devoted husband, father and stepfather and is remembered for his dry wit and wry smile. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Marian Hurley Barry; two daughters from a previous marriage to Grace Annette Dillard Barry, Helen Annette Barry and Elizabeth Barry Parlee (Stephen); stepdaughters Katherine Marian Brooks and Eleanor Green Randolph (Bob); stepsons Douglas Hurley Green and Charles Chesnut Green Jr.; and grandchildren Gwyneth Helen Parlee, Alan Charles Brooks, Amy Katherine Brooks and Elizabeth Watson Randolph. He was preceded in death by his older sister, Marjorie (Molly) Keller. A memorial service and interment will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 3 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Little Rock.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Arkansas Hospice Foundation, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, or the charity of your choice. The family would like to thank Edward’s wonderful caregivers for their kind and loving care as well as Arkansas Hospice.
- Arkansas Hospice Foundation
- St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Monday, May 3, 2021
Edward Graper Barry Jr.
May 3, 2021
So very sorry to learn of Ed's passing. Please accept my deepest sympathy.
Living, as I do, on Linden Street, only about one block's distance from the house in which Ed grew up, I think of him often.
Not to mention Ed's parents. My sister and I, both octogenarians now, cherish fond memories of the delicious cakes that Ada used to make and give us at Christmas. ---Bill Shepherd (jr.)
May 2, 2021
My sincerest condolences to Ed's family. I shared both a profession and an interest in amateur radio with Ed so we had many interesting conversations. He will be missed.
May 1, 2021
I was blessed to work with Ed at AP&L. He was always willing to share his knowledge with others and to, in turn, gain new insights from them. I recall one Monday morning when Ed told me that he’d flown from the Little Rock Air Force Base to the Azores and back over the prior weekend. As part of a training mission, Ed had to navigate the aircraft without the use of any electronic navigation systems. Consequently, Ed had to “shoot the stars” through a window above his seat. As the aircraft came down from the low clouds on approach to the Azores, Ed was surprised to discover that the runway was directly ahead! You could always be sure that, no matter the task at hand, Ed would execute it perfectly.
Dr. James Duke
April 30, 2021
RIP my Friend and Fellow Navigator. I served with Ed in the Airforce Reserve in Memphis in the 1960s..