Daniel J. Barry, Sr.
Daniel J. Barry, Sr. rode off into the sunset for the final time at 5:10 p.m. on May 2, 2018.
Daniel was born in Wakefield, MA to John and Veronica Barry. Despite 33 years in Dartmouth, he never really lost his Boston accent.
Early on, “Digger” Dan displayed his gift for engineering, invention and mechanics, including home-built ice boats, restored Corvettes, Austin Healys and motorcycles. He graduated from Wakefield High School in 1973, with a legacy of outstanding athleticism playing varsity football, ice hockey, and baseball starting as a freshman. Well known for his infectious laugh and daring escapades, he leaves his Wakefield friends many happy memories.
After a year-long journey to look for America, Daniel attended the Stockbridge School at UMass Amherst. Graduating with honors, he began a life of big machinery and many road miles. Some highlights of his work life were working on the "Big Dig" and the opening of New Bedford Harbor and waterfront for wind farm construction.
With no need for maps - Google or otherwise - Dan could give you detailed directions to any destination in the lower 48, including impressing his late mother-in-law, Ruth Sweetser, by recognizing very quickly that Horseback Road in Westport and Dartmouth were not the same road.
His mind was exquisitely tuned to distance, depth, and direction. He held every license for moving vehicles, with the exception of airplanes. And he was often called upon to solve or diagnose mechanical problems, impressing even the most jaded New Bedford Yacht Club members by turning a classic Formula in-board into a diesel in 1998.
His mind was an encyclopedia of boat, motorcycle and car facts and figures. Daniel completed his final restoration job of his son's Jeep the day before his unexpected death.
The most positive person in the world, Dan loved life, loved sports, loved fast cars and driving slow. His natural athleticism entertained and delighted everyone. Snowboarding in construction boots, skiing on broken skis, ("It's not the equipment, it's the operator") wakeboarding, kite surfing, sailing, swimming, diving, ice skating -- all done with grace, style and a big smile.
He tolerated fools, stared down bullies, sang to children, taught everyone something, and believed he was 5'9" as well as being "the Most Interesting Man in the World."
Daniel leaves behind his wife and BFF, Faith Sweetser, and his beloved kids, Anne, Ruthie, Martha and Bud, and his pups Dave and Dolly. He was devoted to his mom, Veronica Barry, of Dartmouth, and loved his brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews.
Despite not being a native, Dan knew almost everyone and their boats in the Greater New Bedford area, he will be missed.
He was preceded in death by his Dad John Barry, his brother in law Tim Sweetser and his nephew Kees Brenninkmeyer.
A funeral mass was celebrated on May 7 at St. Mary's Church in Dartmouth. A celebration of Daniel's life will be held on July 22. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Daniel's name to Boston Children's Hospital Nephrology or the Humane Society Southcoast. Be like Dan, be kind.