July 23, 1920 ~ October 16, 2009
Mary Theresa (McDonald) Barry, daughter of the late Dr. Thomas A. and Gertrude L. (Breen) McDonald, DDS, who grew up at 501 East Broadway, South Boston, died October 16, 2009, at age 89. A few days beforehand, a heart attack triggered heart failure.
Mary was born July 23, 1920, and graduated from Notre Dame Academy in Roxbury in 1938. Mary spent many happy summers with her brother Tom McDonald (the Reverend Thomas A.), and his childhood friends, Walter and Henry (the Reverend Henry F.) Barry, at her family's beach house in Nantasket. On March 30, 1940 she married Walt, a 1937 graduate of the US Naval Academy at St. Augustine's in South Boston. Walt retired in 1967 as a Captain, U.S.N., and died on February 15, 1998, just shy of 60 years of married life. Her brothers Father Tom, and Fred, and sister Gertrude Whalen predeceased her, as did Father Henry. She was the last of her generation.
Mary has four sons: Capt. Thomas A. (Carole) Barry USN (Ret), USNA 1965 of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL; Robert M. (Doty) Barry of Ivor, VA; the Honorable William P. (Mary Beth) Barry, Los Angeles Superior Court, USNA 1970; and R. Kevin (Christie) Barry of Richmond, VA. "Nana" has seven grandchildren: Heather (Jeremy) Antonio of Jacksonville, FL; Robert (Angie) Barry II of Sedley, VA; Jason (Jennifer) Barry of Sedley, VA; Michael and Timothy (Jaime) Barry of Los Angeles; and Meghan and Colin Barry of Richmond, VA; and four great grandchildren: Blake, Brooke, Hannah and Holden, of Sedley, VA
Because Mary married into a Navy life, she experienced many separations while Walt was on sea duty, not so much at the beginning though. The United States' entry into WWII stranded her and other wives from U.S.S. Omaha in Trinidad; she island-hopped back by sea plane, meeting Walt in San Juan on the way back. But the separations did come. Tom and Rob arrived while Walt was at sea. A new home every two years with her four boys and a dog in tow was the rule. They lived in Arlington, VA; Newport, RI; Long Beach, CA; Bremerton, WA; Salt Lake City, UT; Newport again; Norfolk, VA; and Virginia Beach, VA, with multiple residences in Norfolk.
The male members of Mary's family died young. Her father died of cancer at 53, two months after her son Tom, his name sake, was born. Fred died suddenly at 46, and Father Tom died of cancer at 57. Her mother died of a heart attack in 1964 at age 72. Her sister Gertrude lived to this past May. She cherished them all, missed them deeply & thought of them often.
After Walt retired, Mary and he stayed in Norfolk. They ultimately became "Snow Birds", spending many winters in Cocoa Beach, FL. In August 1997, Mary moved with him into Atlantic Shores, a retirement community in Virginia Beach. By then, Walt was seriously ill with dementia. Mary left Atlantic Shores in September 2008 to live with Bill & Mary Beth, in Los Angeles.
While in Los Angeles, Mary had an active schedule. She was able to get out almost every day with a home care companion for shopping, lunch and a movie. Chico's was a favorite stop. Tom and Carole visited from Florida for Mother's Day. Her 89th birthday was celebrated with a big party; she was planning her 90th. Tim married Jaime Rapaport on September 6, 2009. The entire family attended the wedding, including her four great grandchildren, two of whom were the flower girls. Mary walked down the aisle and had a wonderful time. Mary relished life and was a firm believer in "Have bag, will travel."
Mary was a loving and caring mother, an active and supportive Navy wife, an avid golfer with a hole-in-one to her credit. She golfed for many years at Sewells Point Golf Club, Norfolk, VA, where she was Ladies Club Champion, and was a regular participant in tournaments of the Tidewater Golf Association. She was a keen Bridge player, a cut-throat, "speedy" Hearts player, and a longtime member of the Altar Guild for the Chapel at the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base. She will be greatly missed by her family, her many relatives and dear friends, and her garden. Mary will be buried with Walt at Arlington National Cemetery.
A guest book is available at: "www.LAfuneral.com". In lieu of flowers, please make checks payable to the " U.S. Naval Academy Foundation", with the notation "Mary Barry, USNA '37". Mail donations to: U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, 291 Wood Road, Beach Hall, Annapolis, MD 21402, Attn.: Tribute gifts.
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