Arthur "Art" Barr, age 94, of Newell, died Dec. 2, 2011 at the Newell Good Samaritan Center in Newell.
Funeral services were held Dec. 9, at the Nain Lutheran Church in Newell. Burial was in the Newell Cemetery, with full military rites by the Newell American Legion Post 193. The Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Newell was in charge of the arrangements.
Arthur Octave Barr was born on March 7, 1917, in Chicago, Ill., the son of Raymond and Ellen Barr. He was joined by a brother, Arnold Stanley "Steve", in 1919 and by a sister, Marion, in 1927. The family lived in the Chicago area where Art attended schools and was baptized into the Lutheran faith.
In 1920, Ellen took Art and Steve to visit her parents in Sweden for a two year visit. The family joke became that the boys learned Swedish before English. Due to the depression, the family moved around several times. The hardships that the depression brought, didn't affect Art's vigor for life or his zest for success. He was resourceful and earned his own spending money. His thoughtfulness was demonstrated early in life, as he would often provide treats and gifts for his kid sister, Marion.
May of 1934 brought about another challenge, as Art's brother, Steve, developed diphtheria and was quarantined with his mother and sister. Consequently, Art and his father were left to fend for themselves and to continue to work. Art signed up for the C.C.C. and was sent off to fight forest fires and plant trees in Oregon. Upon returning to Chicago, Art found employment and enlisted in the National Guard.
On June 8, 1940, Art was united in marriage to Gretchen Maxine Cressler at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. This union was blessed with a son, Thomas.
Art enlisted into active duty for the U.S. Air Force prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. He attained the rank of Technical Sergeant and worked specifically on airplane mechanics. During his time in the Pacific, Art earned various medals but specifically a Bronze Star for meritorious service. Following WWII, Art remained in the reserves and was called into duty during the Korean Conflict, where he was stationed in Japan. He earned the Good Conduct medal as a Staff Sergeant, during this tour of duty. Art also worked on the1st Minuteman Missile at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, as a Quality Control Inspector on cables for second stage coach.
Traveling was enjoyed thoroughly by Art and Gretchen. They traveled the world and especially enjoyed visiting the family roots in Belgium and Sweden. With Art's pilot license and a plane, their travels were just around the next bend. If it had anything to do with aviation, Art had the passion and the education to delve into the conversation. After many happy years of marriage, Gretchen died on Feb. 7, 1980.
On Sept. 11, 1982, Art was married to Agnes Gerken in Newell. They, too, loved to travel and made many trips to Washington to visit Art's son, Tom and family. During these visits, Art enjoyed good food and great conversations, even into the early morning hours. Additionally, Art loved dancing and Big Band music.
Above all, Art cherished his family. He was a gentleman and will be forever remembered as a loving and devoted husband, father, grandparent, brother and friend.
Those left to cherish Art's memory include his sister, Marion Lamy of Alpena, Mich., her children David, Jon and Laurie and their families; daughter-in-law, Joyce Linda Barr of Renton, Wash.; grandsons: Thomas Jarad (Chrissa Lynn) Barr of Renton, Wash. and Kurt Aaron Barr of Aspen, Colo.; granddaughter, Tamara Ashley Barr of Renton, Wash.; great-granddaughter, Savanna Barr of Trophy Club, Texas; sister-in-law, Inez Cressler (Eggert) Thomsen of Newell, and her children, Barry Cressler and Sandy Watts and their families.
Also surviving are Agnes' family: Judy (Roger) Anderson of Storm Lake; John (Nancy) Gerken of Jefferson; Jan (Gary) Worthan of Storm Lake; Agnes' grandchildren: David (Norma) Anderson, Susan (Steve) Webster, Steve (Amy) Anderson, Matt Gerken, Melissa (Matt) Janssen, Emily (Ryan) Helming, Mandy (Tanner) Stoner, Ryan (Amy) Worthan, Gabe Worthan, and Shannon (Natalie) Worthan; Agnes' great-grandchildren: Danielle, Malea, Anderson, Sydney, Samuel, Jillian, Addison, Kylie, Ava, Trevin, Tegan, Mallie, Tage, Amelia, Lucas, Owen and Liam; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and many friends.
Art was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Gretchen; his son, Thomas; his wife, Agnes; and brother, Steve Barr.