An Irish farewell to Grandpa Joe

9 Oct

Danny Barry, behind the bar, chats with some of the friends and family who filled the little pub.

Yesterday, Joseph B. Barry, Sr. was laid to rest at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.  He was probably best known as long-time owner of Crescent Beach Restaurant in Greece. (Read his obituary here.) But to many of us in Webster, he was “Grandpa Joe,” who occasionally stopped by Barry’s Old School Irish in the village to chat with the patrons and make sure his grandson Danny Barry was running the place properly.

I had the pleasure of meeting Grandpa Joe a few times, but never got to know him very well.  It was obvious, however, how much he was adored and respected.  I always enjoyed watching people interact with him. It was like he was holding court, with people gathered around him to absorb his wisdom.

That respect was ever more evident yesterday afternoon when family and friends gathered at Barry’s Old School Irish after the funeral for an honest-to-goodness Irish wake in honor of Grandpa Joe.

Correction. Family and FAMILY gathered, because when it comes to the Barrys, the whole town is considered family.

Stories were shared, hugs were freely given, much whiskey was poured and many taps were flowing.  And I never felt more proud and honored to be part of the Barry family.

In the obituary that ran in the Democrat and Chronicle on October 8, Joe’s grandson Mike is quoted,

(Crescent Beach) was just a building with windows and doors, but it was special because of how he made people feel when they walked in.

Anyone who has ever walked into Webster’s hometown Irish pub knows that Danny Barry has exactly the same approach. Grandpa Joe is most certainly at rest, confident that his legacy lives on within the welcoming walls of Barry’s Old School Irish.

Three of Joe Barry’s sons, (L-R) Chris, Mark and Hon. David (Mike) Barry, Sr., with Danny Barry.

 

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