James N. Barry was born in Caldwell, ID on January 5, 1918. In 1933, he moved to Utah with his father George, mother Nina, brothers Bob and George and sister Ella.
His family homesteaded near the end of Horsehead Point, where they lived in a tent for two years while building a log cabin and clearing land to farm.
James attended the Horsehead Point School, where he completed the eighth grade and then, like most of the other boys his age, quit to go to work full time. He continued working on the farm with his family and others in the area until he was 18.
One of his favorite mentors was Clement Johnson, who encouraged James to join the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936. After signing up, he was stationed at Ferron, UT for the next two years.
It was in the CCC’s that he learned most of the building trades while constucting bridges, fences, dams, buildings, roads and trails. Many of these stuctures are still functional today.
He sent all but five dollars of the money he earned each month home to suport his family. James was one of the last survivors of the Ferron CCC camp and he attended all of their reunions.
In 1937, after he left the CCC’s, he went to work at Uravan for the U.S. Vanadium Corpoation as a miner and mill worker. While he was there he married the love of his life, who became his lifelong best friend, Bernice Redshaw, on August 11, 1941.
When World War II broke out, James and his two brothers were drafted into the military. James spent the next four years serving in the Pacific theater.
After returning to the States, he got a job as warehouse man in Rifle, CO. His stay in Rifle was short because when he was in the jungles, he came down with Malaria and it re-occurred again.
When the doctors told him he had to move to a dryer climate, James, Bernice and their two boys moved back to Utah.
James worked as a sharecropper for Bob Wilkins, south of Eastland until 1952, when he realized his dream for owning his own land. James and Bernice bought 160 acres of land and the family moved to the new location where he and Bernice were to live for the rest of his life.
The new land had to be cleared before it could be farmed, so to make ends meet, he took a job at the Uranium Mill in Monticello.
He worked weekdays at the mill while clearing land and farming weekends and often late into the night during weekdays.
In 1963, he became a “full time farmer”. For the next 20 years, he farmed, improved and acquired more property. This was a very happy time for him and he took great pride in being a farmer and a person who was “working for himself”.
He tried to retire in 1983 and turn the farm over to his son, Bob, but he could not get farming out of his system and continued to help Bob.
In 1996, he was recognized as San Juan County “Farmer of the Year” for he and his family’s work. James and Bernice loved to travel, especially with their friends. They put many miles on several motor homes until he was no longer able to drive.
Not being able to drive brought on a complete new set of challenges for James and his family.
James was finally able to find his peace on November 20, 2008 after suffering in recent years from Alzheimer’s disease.
Surviving James is his wife Bernice, and their children Jim (Judy) Barry; Bob (Elaine) Barry; Stephanie (Lee) Galegos, grandchildren Ann (Don) Ripley, Lyn (Courtney) Barry, Michelle (Steve) White, Allen (Erin) Barry, Will Gallegos and Maria Gallegos; great grandchildren Kaden Ripley, Dallad Barry, Courtlyn Barry, Dustin Christensen, Alison Barry, Hannah Barry, Taylor Barry, Lauren White, Trenten White and Tanner White.
Preceding him in death are his parents, both brothers and his sister.
Card of thanks
Thanks to all the friends and neighbors for the many acts of kindness that have been given to our family during our dad’s passing and his long struggle with Alzheimer’s. Thanks to the Blanding nursing home staff.
The James and Bernice Barry family