Stuart “Gary” Barr of Morrisville, N.C. died in the early morning hours of Monday, June 3, 2019 at the Rex Hospital in Raleigh, N.C. with his loving wife and best friend, Dottie, holding him. He was 79 years old and died following several months of illness.
A celebration of Gary’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 30, 2019 at Brown Wynne Funeral Home in Cary, N.C.
Gary was born in Blossburg, Pa. April 11, 1940. He was the ninth child born to Anthony “Wayne” and Maude Margaret Mortensen Barr. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to the Penn Yan area, where his mother had been born and raised. His family ran Barr’s Barn Dance in the 1940s. It was there he first took to the stage. He had a natural talent for playing musical instruments, focusing on the drums and the guitar. He was born with a love of performing music that followed him around his entire life. He attended schools in the Penn Yan School District and graduated from Penn Yan Academy in 1958. After graduation he joined the U.S. Navy, where he served honorably.
In his twenties he spent some time in Nashville, Tenn., picking his guitar and singing his way around the city with some artists that have since gone onto fame, and others that simply slipped into history. Over the years he became an accomplished musician and was in demand no matter where he landed.
Gary lived in many places around the U.S. In addition to Pennsylvania, New York and Tennessee, he lived in Florida, Arizona, and Vermont before migrating to North Carolina with his wife, Dottie. He lived in the Raleigh area for the past 35+ years enjoying the heck out of the warmer weather, spending time at the ocean, and simply enjoying life with Dottie and the family he gained when they married. He delighted in his furry friend Eddie, taking him on walks and to the dog park. He enjoyed going to concerts, particularly bluegrass. He attended the Wide Open Bluegrass festival every year with friends and that brought him much joy. But most of all, he loved doing anything with his wife and family.
Gary was a humble man who worked hard all of his life. His primary career was as a body shop estimator. He was sought after by many shops because of his honesty, integrity, and tremendous expertise. In the last year, he enjoyed working with his stepson, Mike Montgomery in the office at Mike’s restaurant, Abbey Road Tavern & Grille in Cary, N.C. And always in his down time, he played music — wherever and whenever he could.
He was a man of faith — kind, gentle, and thoughtful. He was a wonderful, loving husband who deeply loved his family and friends. Gary was a quiet man and when he spoke it was with kindness and love for all people. He had a quiet smile that warmed anyone who was around him.
Gary, with Dottie ever at his side and as his fiercest champion, faced several health challenges over the years with courage and strength, never complaining and always thanking those who helped him. He loved Dottie dearly, and they enjoyed 29 happy years together. He embraced everyone as family - and especially loved the family he gained when he married Dottie, just as they loved him right back. He was beloved Poppy to all the grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, left to cherish his memory are his daughter, Robbin; granddaughter, Shayla and her husband Chase of South Carolina; his two sons, Frank and Rick, both of Vermont; Dottie’s children, including daughter, Kim Klaus and her husband Bob and children Sam and Ellie; son, Mike Montgomery and his wife Erin and children, Jake and Olivia; and son, Craig Montgomery and his children, Angus and Maddox, who live in Vermont. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, John and Mary Ellen Barr of Mansfield, Pa; sisters, Dolores Paddock of Dundee, and Carolyn Partridge of Penn Yan; sister and brother-in-law Joanne and Chuck Martz of Dundee; and sisters-in-law Sandy Barr of Dansville, and Barb Barr of Brighton, Colo. He had many nieces, nephews, and friends who loved him very much. All will miss him dearly.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Philip, Keith, and Norman “Dale”; sister and brother-in-law, Jane and Tom Wetmore; brother and sister-in-law Richard “Dick” and Joyce Barr; and brothers-in-law, Spence Partridge, and Ralph Paddock.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the SPCA of Wake County, 200 Petfinder Lane, Raleigh, N.C. 27603.