Tobias Barry 1924-2017
While practicing law, Toby was elected to the State of Illinois House of Representatives in 1960, filling the seat previously held by his father, Tobias Barry, Sr, following his untimely death. Toby continued to serve as a State Representative for 14 years. In 1974 he was elected to the Third District Appellate Court, becoming Justice Barry. He was retained by the voters in 1984 and continued to serve on that Court for 20 years, until his retirement in 1994. He was subsequently reappointed by special order of the Illinois Supreme Court to serve again on the Third District Appellate Court from 2002–2004. He was also appointed by special order of the Illinois Supreme Court to serve on its Workers' Compensation Division for many years.
Toby was always concerned about people. This concern was evidenced by his being a founding father of the “Illinois Lawyers’ Assistance Program,” a program that assists Illinois judges and attorneys who struggle with alcohol abuse, drug dependency and mental health issues. He was also a driving force in the construction of Interstate 39, a portion of which bears his name today. Additionally, Toby lobbied then Governor Otto Kerner to locate the newly-formed IVCC in Oglesby, Illinois, as he believed strongly that education was a means for people to better themselves.
Toby is survived by his wife, Jan Barry, of Ladd, sons Mark Barry, Patrick (Mary Jo) Barry, and Dan (SuePreston) Barry, daughter Michele (Gilbert) Barattini, and grandchildren Bianca, Grazio, Bruno and Emma Barattini, Colin Barry and Owen and Keller Barry. He also leaves behind a host of friends and colleagues who played very important roles in his life. “We are so grateful for all we were taught and experienced and how we were loved by this amazing man.” There were no strangers in Toby’s life, only friends he had yet to meet. He proved what a hugeimpact one man from a small town can have on people’s lives.
Always a humble man, at his request there will be no public service. Pursuant to his wishes, Toby will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, in a private ceremony at a later date. The Hurst Funeral home in Ladd is assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider memorials to the “Saint Bede Academy Legacy Project”, as education and his years at Saint Bede Academy were very dear to his heart.
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