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Alfred W. Barry Jr., former Mack Trucks sales manager and World War II veteran, dies

Alfred Barry worked more than 40 years for Mack Trucks, and when the company relocated to Nursery Road in Linthicum Heights, he designed the building and oversaw its construction.
Alfred Barry worked more than 40 years for Mack Trucks, and when the company relocated to Nursery Road in Linthicum Heights, he designed the building and oversaw its construction. (Handout)

Alfred Wald Barry Jr., a World War II veteran who was a former sales manager for Mack and Brockway trucks, died Friday in his sleep at Stella Maris Hospice. The Timonium resident was 94.

He was the son of Alfred W. Barry Sr., an executive for General Tire Co., and Aida Kunkeli Barry, a homemaker. He was born in Buffalo, N.Y., and was raised in Philadelphia and on Park Avenue in Manhattan.

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Mr. Barry was the great-nephew of Lillian Wald, a suffragette who founded the Henry Street Settlement House in New York City in 1893 and was one of the founding members of the NAACP.

Growing up, he spent summers at a cabin his father had built in Barryville, N.Y., just north of the historic John A. Roebling aqueduct and suspension bridge, an 1849 structure that spans the Delaware River.

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“We used to go there as children growing up, and I remember the sounds the planks made as we drove over the bridge. The bridge is now only opened to foot traffic,” said a son, Alfred W. Barry III of Homeland.

After graduating from the Collegiate School in New York City, Mr. Barry began his college studies at the Johns Hopkins University.

At the conclusion of his sophomore year, he enlisted in the Army with numerous other Hopkins students and Phi Gamma Delta fraternity brothers. The enlistment site was a store that is now the Charles Village Schnapp Shop at 29th and North Calvert streets.

“His eyesight was so bad that he memorized the eye chart to be able to enlist,” his son said.

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Mr. Barry served in Army ordnance in the Aleutian Islands until his discharge in 1946. His decorations included the World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

He returned to Hopkins and in 1948 obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Also in 1948, he married Dolores Keating, a kindergarten teacher he had met at Hopkins when she was a graduate student. The couple first lived on Kentucky Avenue before moving to a Victorian house on Boxhill Lane in Roland Park.

After leaving Hopkins, Mr. Barry began a career with Mack Trucks Inc. that ultimately spanned more than 40 years. He started at its sales branch, which was then located on East 25th Street. In 1956, the company purchased Brockway Motor Co., which also manufactured trucks, and it became a division of Mack.

James W. "Bill" Middelton, former president of the old Equitable Trust Co. who later had a second carreer as an investment banker, died July 4 from complications of a stroke at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. The Mount Washington resident was 87.

When Mack relocated to Nursery Road in Linthicum Heights, Mr. Barry designed the building and oversaw its construction. At the time of his retirement in the early 1990s, he was sales manager.

In the 1960s, Mr. Barry started a business servicing trucks and trailers for the old Norfolk, Baltimore and Carolina Line at Caroline and Lancaster streets in Fells Point, until the city condemned the property for the proposed extension of the Jones Falls Expressway to join with Interstate 95 — a project that was never completed.

He had also been a member of the Maryland Motor Truck Association and had represented the organization’s legislative activities in Annapolis.

Mrs. Barry died in 1965.

Mr. Barry later married Mary Virginia “Ginna” Ganzhorn Rouse, a Roland Park Junior High School reading teacher. The couple lived on Club Road in Roland Park, and later to homes in Riderwood and Pot Spring Road in Timonium. She died in 2002.

Mr. Barry encouraged the academic achievements of his children and stepchildren and supported them financially to help them realize their educational goals, his son said.

He also noted that his father was the great-grandson of Patrick Barry, an Irish immigrant and pioneer horticulturist who co-founded Mount Hope Garden and Nursery around 1840 in Rochester, N.Y., with George Ellwanger, a German immigrant.

“His love of gardening came naturally,” his son said.

Mr. Barry enjoyed planting a garden that was filled with tomatoes, peppers and zucchini.

He also was an inveterate woodworker who helped his children until he was in his 90s with renovation projects.

“He’d fly from Ithaca, N.Y. to Decorah, Iowa, to supervise home improvement projects,” his son said.

He had been an original Baltimore Colts season ticket holder and would ride with his son and friends on a chartered bus from Alonso’s bar on Cold Spring Lane to the old Memorial Stadium.

In addition to walking a mile each day, Mr. Barry was an avid reader of newspapers and looked forward to the weekly arrival of The New Yorker.

He was a longtime communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 101 Church Lane, Cockeysville, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

In addition to his son, Mr. Barry is survived by another son, John Keating Barry of Baltimore; three daughters, Nancy Keating Barry of Decorah, Iowa, Mary Lee Scott of Orlando, Fla. and Suzanne Cordley Barry of Malvern, Pa.; a stepson, Owen John Rouse Jr. of Baltimore; two stepdaughters, Chip Rouse of Lutherville and Mary Patricia Rouse of Ithaca, N.Y., and seven grandchildren.

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