Robert Barry

Robert T Barry, shown in 1951 (A. Aubrey Bodine, Baltimore Sun)

Robert T. Barry, a retired Exxon Oil Co. salesman and avid sports fan, died Friday from congestive heart failure at his Mays Chapel home. He was 83.

The son of a lawyer and a homemaker, Robert Thomas Barry was born in Baltimore and raised on Dukeland Street.

An outstanding athlete, he played varsity basketball, football and baseball at Loyola High School, from which he graduated in 1946. He was selected as a member of the All-Catholic Prep Football Team in 1945.

Mr. Barry continued playing sports at what is now Loyola University Maryland, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1949.

He was a member of the 1948 basketball team that played in the National Intercollegiate Basketball Championship Tournament held in Kansas City, Mo. He also was a member of the Maryland State Collegiate Basketball Champions team.

During the Korean War, Mr. Barry served in the Army as a lieutenant and was platoon leader of the 839th Engineer Aviation Battalion that was responsible for constructing landing runways. His decorations include two Bronze Stars.

Mr. Barry worked for more than 40 years as a salesman for the Esso Oil Co., which later became Exxon. He retired in 1986.

After retiring, the former longtime Towson resident spent summers in Ocean City, where he enjoyed riding his bicycle on the boardwalk and golfing.

For years, he played basketball every Friday night at the Towson YMCA and seldom missed the annual Loyola High School-Calvert Hall College High School Thanksgiving Day football game, family members said.

"He enjoyed a nightly Manhattan, steamed crabs, homegrown tomatoes and ice cream," said a daughter, Anne Barry Dowers of Cranbury, N.J. "He also enjoyed the Towson July Fourth Parade."

His wife of 56 years, the former Claire Bond, died in 2012.

Mr. Barry was a member and an usher for more than 40 years at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore and Ware avenues, Towson, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Also surviving are two sons, Raymond M. Barry of Towson and Robert R. Barry of Vienna, Va.; two other daughters, Beth Lapenotiere of Bel Air and Ellen Barry of Framingham, Mass.; a sister, Bernice Spillman of Hagerstown; and seven grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com