517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team
David R. Barry
1924 - 2006
Published in the Chicago Tribune on
After parachuting in total darkness into France to begin 94 days of continuous combat during World War II, Dave Barry was wounded with shrapnel in the right leg and both knees. He managed to walk three miles until he came upon Patton's Third Armored Division and received medical treatment. Although reluctant to discuss his experiences in the war during most of his life, Mr. Barry was fond of saying that he kept walking because he ''believed tomorrow would be better than today.'' It was a motto he followed his entire life.
A former resident of Evanston, he died Aug. 23 in Delavan, WI, where he had lived the past 20 years. Mr. Barry was the only child of Dave and Margaret Barry and grew up in St. Ignatius Parish in Rogers Park. His father had been a former professional boxer who refereed the famous ''Long Count Fight'' between Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney on Sept. 27, 1927. An avid athlete, he played baseball and basketball for both St. George High School and Loyola Academy before enlisting in the Army and volunteering for paratrooper duty. He was a member of the U.S. Army 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team. The 517th became part of the 36th Division and was involved in heavy fighting. During World War II, Mr. Barry received a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and five Unit decorations.
He married Gloria Keegan, the daughter of Alderman Thomas Keegan, and the couple raised their three children, Anita, David Jr. ''Chip'' and Carol Lee in Evanston. Mr. Barry worked for General Electric and Westinghouse before starting a sales promotion firm that bore his name. Mr. Barry is also survived by three grandchildren, Patrick Tully, Meghan Barry and Caitlin Barry, with whom he thoroughly enjoyed spending time and a daughter-in-law, Karen Barry, and a son-in-law, Andy Tully, who he thought of as children of his own. Private services have been held. To honor his memory, the family requests donations be sent to Notre Dame High School for Boys, 7655 West Dempster, Niles, IL 60714, where his daughter, Carol Lee, is Director of College Guidance.