Walter Richard Barry, Jr.
Departed this life on September 16, 2021 surrounded by his loving family at their home in Wayzata, MN. He was born April 24, 1933 in Minneapolis to Geraldine Dunne and Walter R. Barry, Sr and had an older sister, Elizabeth, and two younger brothers, Ed and Tom. Walter grew up on Lake Minnetonka where he enjoyed the camaraderie and freedom of lake life with pals who have become old friends, developed his catholic faith at St. Therese Church and attended The Blake School. He graduated from Princeton University in 1955 where he rowed crew, majored in English and was a member of the Ivy Club. He served two years in the Army stationed in Germany and retired as Captain in the Reserves.
Following in his father’s foot-steps at General Mills he started in sales on the West Coast where he met and married his wife of 57 years, Jane Randall. Possessing a witty intellect and outgoing personality, he was an intuitive marketer and natural salesman which, along with a strong work ethic, led to a fulfilling career at the company where he retired as Executive Vice President. The second act of his career as a board member and investor in Midwestern businesses was equally rewarding, especially because he did so in partnership with beloved friends. He served with pleasure on many community boards, his alma mater Blake and enjoyed his tenure as President of the Woodhill Club.
Walter had an unyielding belief in the American dream and the importance of free markets in a free society. He helped support the dream of others in his enthusiastic service on the National Board of Junior Achievement. He would often be found reciting the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July to whomever lent an ear. He also loved the written word, feeling poetry was our bridge to one another. He often wrote lyrical notes, shared jokes or written works with friends and family. He would carry copies of William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech to share when appropriate and could still quote it even in the late stages of dementia.
Walter was an avid golfer whose love of the game was shared with his dear friends and three sons in beautiful places far and wide, but especially in Wayzata, MN, his ancestral home of Ireland and the Monterey Peninsula. While rarely in the winner’s circle, he was ever mindful of the game’s etiquette and prized fast play and brought an infectious sense of humor and good will to his partners on and off the course.
Above all, he was devoted to his family, cherished their gatherings and was often overwhelmed with tears of gratitude and joy at the mere sight of his three boys and their families. His strong faith underpinned his optimistic spirit, grateful heart and sense of peace toward the end of his life. He is survived by his wife, Jane and three sons, Walter (Cécile), Randall (Sara) and Stewart (Leith) and 9 grandchildren. A Funeral Mass will be held at The Church of St Therese, 18323 Minnetonka Blvd in Deephaven, MN on Thursday September 23 at 3 PM. Private interment at Resurrection Cemetery in Shorewood.