We lost one of our champions on Dec. 23, 2015—Joe Barry ’59, who played the backcourt on the 1959 Gaels basketball team that went all the way to the NCAA Elite Eight. He was honored in the Saint Mary’s Athletic Hall of Fame for his basketball prowess and was named to the College’s All-Century Basketball Team in 2007. Barry also is remembered for his great and generous heart, and his loving ways.
Born in Oshkosh, Wisc. on Oct. 16, 1937, Barry moved with his family to Berkeley when he was 7 years old and considered Berkeley his home for the rest of his life. He played youth basketball, graduated from Saint Mary’s College High School, and went to Saint Mary’s College on a basketball scholarship, majoring in economics. After graduating from SMC, he toured South America on a collegiate all-star basketball team.
“As I look back on games,” said former Gael teammate and NBA power forward Tom Meschery ’61, “I recall how frustrated guards looked trying to steal the ball away from either Joe or Bobby (Dold ’59). [They] might have been the slowest and most effective backcourt in the entire country,” Meschery wrote in his blog, Meschery’s Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life.
Barry is survived by his children, Monica Haywood ’90 ECR ’01 and Sean Barry, and their families, as well as a sister, Sarah Barry Fike, and her family. He was preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife, Patricia Saunders Barry.
“Go into that good night, Joe,” Meschery said. “With the same tricky maneuvers, you're sure to make heaven's team.” Classmate Brian McCarthy ’59, upon hearing the news of Joe’s passing, remembered a song from the traditional Latin liturgy of the Requiem Mass: “In paradisum deducant te angeli.” May angels lead you to paradise.