MADISON -James Michael “Jim” Barry age 72, of Madison, passed away on, Tuesday, August 26, 2014, at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg.
He was born on July 30, 1942, in Milwaukee, the second son of John Barry and Bernetta (Breitzman) Barry. Jim graduated from Don Bosco High School in Milwaukee in 1960. After a brief stint at The Brothers of Mary novitiate, Jim enrolled at UW Madison, graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1970. During this period he served for three and half years in the U.S. Navy as a Fire Controlman on-board the USS Zelima AF-49 in the pacific. His first job after the university was at Maynard Steel in Milwaukee. In 1972 Jim began his long career of public service on the frontlines of workplace safety. He worked for both the state and federal governments evaluating workers’ exposures to a wide variety of air contaminants and noise. He helped countless employers and employees improve the workplace and prevent illness. He loved his work and did it part time up until just a few months ago when he was diagnosed with the illness that ended his life. Jim served on citizen committees for the City of Madison over the years, including the Public Health Commission and the Solid Waste Advisory Committee. He served on the safety and health committee for The American Foundry Society for many years and was a long time member of the Wisconsin American Industrial Hygiene Association.
Jim’s incredible sense of humor and kindness was felt by all he encountered. He always had a joke or saying to lighten the mood and bring people together. Jim was a passionate baseball fan, completing his bucket list of visiting all the major league ballparks in May. The Milwaukee Braves defined his youth, and the Brewers defined his adult years. After many years of heartbreak, the Brewers were in first place at the end. Jim enjoyed spending time with his partner of 19 years, Sharon Crandall, and her family brought him great joy. The last decade of his life was filled with happiness. He saw his children often, and he had an abundance of friends and neighbors who loved him.
For the last thirty years he was a member of the Madison Philosophical Society, a group of probability theorists who meet every couple of weeks. Some might say they play poker.
Jim is survived by his daughter, Sarah (Nathan Houdek) Barry; his son, Joe (Brenda) Barry; granddaughter, Lauren Barry; brothers Dave (Lois) Barry and Bill (Marilyn Scrivseth) Barry; sister, Kathy Provencher; nieces, Stacy (Joe) Coffey, Kim (Mike Musenbrock) Barry, Kelly (Jim) Myrick and Lisa Barry; long-time partner, Sharon Crandall; her daughters, Jane (David Forrest) Crandall and Jennifer (John) Ouellette; and her grandchildren, Louisa and Liam Forrest, and Sophie, Katie and Henry Ouellette. He was preceded in death by his father and mother.
A Memorial Service will be held at OLBRICH GARDENS, 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sep. 12, 2014. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com