Mary Barry Obituary

Mary Eileen Barry
Mary Eileen Barry

November 13, 1931 - November 28, 2019
Born in Hartford, CT
Resided in East Lyme, Connecticut


Dr. Mary Eileen Barry, of Niantic passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 28th at the age of 88. She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Carol Barry of Bloomfield, along with many cousins, nieces and nephews, and grand nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents Richard J. and Mary E. (Mahoney) Barry of West Hartford, and her sister and brother-in-law, Jane Ann and Donald A. Jepsen of New London.
Born in Hartford in 1931, Mary Eileen was the daughter of Richard and Mary Barry of West Hartford. She was raised in a household where family, faith, education, and hard work were strong values.
Mary Eileen and her sister attended Mount St. Joseph Academy in Hartford and earned her bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Joseph College in 1953. She began working at G. Fox and Company in her twenties and was quickly recognized for her strong business acumen, ability to build relationships, and her natural leadership to advance in her field. She went on to earn her Master’s Degree at New York University in 1954 and her Doctorate in Vocational Education from Temple University in 1974. After 15 years as a Buyer at G. Fox, she began her second career in Education, first at Penn State University in Retail and then at Auburn University as a Professor in Fashion Merchandising where she taught for more than 30 years until her retirement.
While on faculty at Auburn, Mary Eileen studied production and marketing practices across six continents. Her work was published in national academic and industry journals, and she presented worldwide on these subjects. Long before college “study abroad” programs became as pervasive as they are today, Mary Eileen championed the development of international retail and merchandising programs for students and faculty, leading groups to Europe for twenty years. During this time, she invited each of her seven nieces and nephews to accompany her on one of these European tours in order to open their eyes to other cultures and share her love of travel.
Family and friends will always remember Mary Eileen’s interest in building relationships. She loved to meet new people and learn about their lives, their backgrounds, and would regularly help people make connections with others. She was known for the well-worn address book she constantly consulted to be able to stay in touch and reach out to the many people she encountered. With her adventurous spirit, she was always up for an outing, a nice meal, visits with friends, hosting parties and overnight guests. A loyal friend and family member who touched many lives, she had a way of helping extended relatives and friends stay in touch by bringing people together.
Mary Eileen retired to Niantic, where she had spent summers as a young girl. She loved Attawan Beach, going for swims, and visiting neighbors on her way to the beach. Her house was always open to friends and family. A vibrant member of many different communities, whether in Connecticut, Alabama, Mexico, or other places around the world, all were enriched by her love for people, curious nature and devotion to faith.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday December 7, 2019 at 10 O’clock at St. agnes Church 22 Haigh avenue, Niantic. Interment will follow in St. Mary Cemetery, Norwich. Visitation will be held on Friday, December 6, at the Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home, 48 Grand Street, Niantic, from 6:00-8:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Dr. Mary Eileen Barry Scholarship at Auburn University, College of Human Sciences, 210 Spidle Hall, 261 Mell St, Auburn, AL 36849.



Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home
48 Grand Street
Niantic, CT US 06357
Friday, December 6, 2019
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Mass of Christian Burial
St. Agnes Church
22 Haigh Ave.
Niantic , Connecticut United States 06357
Saturday, December 7, 2019
10:00 AM

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