Barry was born in 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio. His father was a veteran of the Korean War, and his mother was a homemaker. He had a sister, Sandy, a brother, Glenn, and an identical twin brother, Bruce. The twins were each other’s life blood, full of mischief and life. The family moved to Hollywood, Florida, where Barry and Bruce were swimmers in high school and graduated from S. Broward High in 1969. Barry put himself through Florida Atlantic University as a lifeguard on Hollywood Beach, eating lots of peanut butter and tuna fish.
He met his first wife, Judy, at Hollywood Beach, and they married just before Barry followed Bruce into active duty as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Barry Lee Jr. was born in 1978. He is Barry’s only child, and he loved his son fiercely. Barry continued his service in the Marine Corps reserves.
Barry was a police officer with Hollywood Police Department for 30 years. During that time, he served with SWAT, the dive team, and in the detective bureau, working arson and robbery. He was assigned to a special task force for one year with the FBI in Miami.
In 1989, Bruce and his crew were killed in action while on a training mission with USMC. Barry was never able to talk much about that much. I’m quite sure it was like losing a limb.
I met Barry in 1991, and we married in 1993 and built a life together as a blended family, each with a son from a former marriage and lots of speed bumps along the way.
In 2004, Barry returned to active duty as Deputy Commanding Officer of Detainee Operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious service. In 2005, he retired from 30 years in the Marine Corps as a full bird colonel.
He started a new chapter of his life and joined the Plantation Fire Department. True to form, he jumped in headfirst and never looked back. For 13 years, Barry responded to thousands of fire calls, working tirelessly to improve his knowledge and skills. He served as a lead instructor for Plantation, bringing discipline, team building skills, and the expectation of excellence. He was awarded the department’s Top Responder for several years.
Every morning, Barry got up, loved on his dogs, kissed his wife, and put on his sneakers, which he wore from the moment he woke up to the moment he went to bed. Barry had true grit. He loved to tell stories. He was a devil dog to the core. He was funny, honest, solid, smart, and highly competitive. He had a heart of gold.