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Obituary (NY): Peter Francis Barry '52

Posted on 10/02/2018

Peter F. Barry, of Northport, N.Y. passed peacefully at age 90 on September 23, 2018 of heart failure.

Peter’s career was in Long Island’s defense industry.  He also invested his time in corporate community service.  He was President and Chairman of the Long Island Association (LIA), President of the Huntington Arts Council; Executive Council Member of the Huntington Chamber of Commerce; and a Trustee of the Stony Brook Foundation.  He served on several corporate boards, including Fleet Bank and Vicon Industries.

Peter was raised in Marblehead, MA and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June of 1945.  After serving three years on board a carrier in the Pacific, he received a Fleet Appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1952. His graduating class has the motto “Tough Shoes to Fill” after the class removed their shoes while standing in formation at Commencement, then left them behind in perfect rows, much to the consternation of the Academy commanding officers.  While at the Academy, Pete played on Navy’s football team and on the freshman golf team.  Upon graduation, he was assigned to the Underwater Demolition Team (UDT), which was the precursor to today’s SEALS.  After 4 years of sea duty in the Mediterranean and Pacific, he resigned his commission and moved to Long Island with his new bride, Sheila, to work for Sperry Gyroscope where he worked for 12 years in marketing and business development.  He left Sperry for Litton Industries and in 1974 joined Hartman Systems in Huntington, NY as CEO and President.  He was with Hartman for 15 years before joining Grumman as Sr. VP in their Washington, DC office.  After retirement from Grumman, Peter returned to Long Island and began a 3rd career as an Adjunct Professor of Business Ethics in the Executive MBA program at LIU/C.W. Post. 

Peter loved the game of golf.  He was a 44-year member of the Huntington Crescent Club and was Chairman of the Long Island Golf Association.  He received the LIGA’s Lifetime Service Award in 2011.  After undergoing his first open-heart surgery in 1979, he created and founded the Open Heart Open, a Long Island golf outing/fundraiser, which raised over $1 million for the Heart Association and St. Francis Hospital.  Pete was also an official and marshal at Long Island professional and amateur golf tournaments.   His greatest joy was the annual Barry Cup, where every member of the Barry family gathered annually for a golf tournament and family reunion.  This past year, we celebrated the 34th consecutive Barry Cup.  Sadly, it was the last for “Poppy”, but the tradition, and his memory, will live on.

Peter is predeceased by his beloved wife Sheila (Connolly), to whom he was married for 57 wonderful years.  Cherished father of Kevin Barry, and his wife Mary Lee (Maughan) of Asharoken, NY; Kate Hawkins, and her pre-deceased husband Richard, of Yarmouth, ME; Dina Pigott, and her husband Paul, of Seattle, WA; and Peter Joseph (PJ) Barry, and his wife Kathleen (Lynch), of Manhasset, NY.  Cherished Poppy to 10 grandchildren:  William Pigott of Seattle, WA; Christopher Pigott, of Los Angeles, CA; Ryan Hawkins, of Burlington, VT; Matthew Pigott, of Los Angeles, CA; John Barry, of Washington, D.C.; Peter Joseph (PJ) Barry, of NY, NY; Michael Barry, of Asharoken, NY, Amelia Barry, of Manhasset, NY; Brendan Barry, of Manhasset, NY, and Joseph Barry, of Asharoken, NY.  Peter is also predeceased by his brother John Barry, of Troutman, NC.

Visitation will be at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on Friday, September 28th.  Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, September 29th, 10:00 a.m. at St. Philip Neri Church, Northport, NY.  Interment to follow at Northport Rural Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Heart Association or to the United States Navy Memorial.

Nolan Funeral Home, Inc.
5 Laurel Avenue
Northport, NY 11768-3166
P: (631) 754-2400
F: (631) 261-6190