Gary Wayne Barr obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Gary Wayne Barr

November 22, 1951 - May 30, 2017

Obituary


Gary Wayne Barr

November 22, 1951 - May 30, 2017


Gary Wayne Barr, NASA engineer, Ham radio operator (WA6TWT), animal welfare advocate, and long-time Lancaster resident, passed away at his home on May 30, 2017, from the long-term effects of a congenital kidney disease. He was 65.

He was born in Rockledge, FL, to the late Fay H. Barr and Vivian Barr McEldowney of Lancaster. He moved with his family to Edwards AFB at the age of 2, and to Lancaster 3 years later. Through his father and...

Gary Wayne Barr

November 22, 1951 - May 30, 2017


Gary Wayne Barr, NASA engineer, Ham radio operator (WA6TWT), animal welfare advocate, and long-time Lancaster resident, passed away at his home on May 30, 2017, from the long-term effects of a congenital kidney disease. He was 65.

He was born in Rockledge, FL, to the late Fay H. Barr and Vivian Barr McEldowney of Lancaster. He moved with his family to Edwards AFB at the age of 2, and to Lancaster 3 years later. Through his father and a high school electronics teacher, he developed a love of electronics and Ham radio, which formed the foundation of his life's work. After graduation from Antelope Valley High School in 1969, he attended Antelope Valley College for two years, then transferred to California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, where he earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics with concentrations in computer science and electronic engineering.

After working briefly at the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory and on Main Base at Edwards AFB, he transferred to NASA Dryden (now Armstrong) Flight Research Center, where he worked for 32 years. At the time of his retirement in December 2010, he was the engineer for operational spectrum management (ensuring proper operation of aircraft transmitters), the telephone system, and the Land Mobile Radio system, with 484 ground-based radios for Security, Medical, Safety, Flight Operations, Shuttle, and others. He worked behind the scenes, contributing to the safe landing of many Space Shuttle flights.

On December 30, 1993, he married Susan Steen. They shared a love of animals and together operated the TANA Foundation animal rescue. He and Susan were responsible for life-saving efforts that saved thousands of dogs and cats that otherwise would have been destroyed.

Gary was a member of the Antelope Valley Amateur Radio Club (AVARC) for 50 years, serving as Treasurer and Membership Chair at the time of his death. He was also active on the Mission Trail Net for amateur radio, serving most recently as Vice President, Newsletter Publisher, and Statistician. He is now a "Silent Key." .-.-

Through most of his adult life, he quietly dealt with health problems from congenital polycystic kidney disease. In 2004, after 5 years on dialysis, he was blessed with a kidney transplant and 13 more years of life. Over the past several years, he suffered from the long-term side effects of the anti-rejection drugs that cause immunosuppression. He bravely and courageously endured metastatic squamous cell skin and lung cancer, and congestive heart failure.

He leaves behind his wife Susan Steen Barr, stepchildren Arema and Trevor and their families, and 92-year-old mother Vivian Barr McEldowney, all of Lancaster; and sister Linda Barr Quinby and husband Dave, Carlsbad, CA. He was predeceased by his faithful companion and long-time service dog, Dutchess.

A memorial Celebration of Life service to pay tribute to Gary will be held on July 8th, 2 p.m., at Joshua Memorial Park and Mortuary, 808 East Lancaster Blvd, Lancaster, CA. Reception following. Flowers may be sent to the mortuary. Donations may be made to the TANA animal rescue, 13006 East Avenue H, Lancaster 93535.