Asheville ~ Kenneth A. Barry passed away unexpectedly at 9:30 AM on August 14, 2010.
He was born on February 25, 1944 in Bay City, Michigan to the parents of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Barry. Ken was the youngest of four children. He graduated from Bay City Central High School in Bay City, Michigan. Upon graduation, he matriculated to Greenville, Illinois where he became a student at Greenville College where he majored in biology and education and minored in Spanish. While there, He also sang in the A cappella choir, participated in the mission club and spent four summers and vacations in Mexico as a college missionary, He was an active member in both the Spanish and Science clubs, he served as the Chaplain for the class of 1966. He met his wife Judi who was a member of the Class of 1966. Upon graduation, they were married. In 1966, Ken and Judi moved to Wilmore, Kentucky where Ken attended Seminary at Asbury theological seminary for a year and a half. Realizing that He wanted to be a teacher, Ken accepted a job with the Farmington Public schools in Farmington, Michigan in 1969. Ken worked as a Science teacher in Farmington for eleven years. He loved teaching.
During that time, Ken and Judi were blessed with the gift of adoption. They received their son Jonathan in 1971 and their daughter Carmen in 1972.
In 1978 Ken decide to make a career change and he accepted a job offer working as a pharmaceutical sales representative for the Upjohn Company. This promotion forced the family to move to Iowa City Iowa. During the early years with the Upjohn Company, Ken experienced much success as he received promotions that quickly moved the family to Cleveland, Ohio where he was a hospital representative and then to the head quarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he worked as a communications specialist. In 1998, the Upjohn Company was acquired by the Swedish company, Pharmacia and the headquarters moved to New Jersey. Ken and Judi moved to New Jersey with the company where Ken became the executive director of marketing. The company merged again with Pfizer Corporation and Ken was forced to commute in to New York City for work. Ken became the director of advertising for Pfizer and worked in New York City for four years. He retired from Pfizer in 2005. He and Judi bought a beautiful home in Asheville North Carolina (God's Country as Judi often called it).
During retirement, Ken became active in Rotary. One of the activities he enjoyed was arranging and traveling with WWII veterans to Washington DC to view the WWII monument. He served on the board for both Rotary and Guardian Ad Litem, He was a faithful member of the Arden Presbyterian Choir, he attended Bible study Fellowship, and he was master gardener, spending countless hours creating his "Garden of Eden."
Ken leaves behind his loving wife Judi of 44 years, his son Jonathan, daughter Carmen and son in law Larry. Most beloved were his five granddaughters: Ariana, 18, Jordynn, 15, Rian 11, Kennedy 10 and Skylar 9.
Ken left a legacy of Christian love and commitment. He was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and this was evident in his love for God's word and God's people.
A celebration of Ken's life will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian with the Revs. Chris Yates and Guy Sayles officiating.
The family will receive friends from 7-8:30p.m. Tuesday and again one hour before the service, both at the funeral home.