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In Memory

Barrett F (Barry) Eby

Barrett F (Barry) Eby

Barrett F. (Barry) Eby      1946 -  February 15, 2018

To those who knew him, fondly the "Ebe", was a card playing legend in the class.  

It is with great sadness that we announce that our larger-than-life classmate, Barry Eby, passed away this afternoon, February 15.   Barry had been battling cancer and heart problems; still his death was unexpected.  At Christmas, his brother Chris said he was doing well, but had an attack then and things started going down hill for him....today his heart failed him.

 Barry was always the life of the party, ready for a card game, a joke or a drink.  But he had a serious, spiritual side as well, as evidenced by his regular attendance at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. He was, most of all, a good friend to people he had known from his early childhood, to his work colleagues, to his neighbors and especially, to his beloved wife, Marsha, who survives him.  Together, Barry and Marsha raised a great family and had a wonderful  life.  We will always remember him. 

Our prayers and condolescences go out to his family.

Rest in peace ole friend of many!heart


He will always be my friend.

In October of 1951, Korea was the biggest news story – but unlike today, it wasn’t the Olympics that captured the headlines, but war.

Harry Truman was President and I assume many of you were yet to be born.

A five-year-old boy (me) from St. Anselm’s morning kindergarten in Swissvale transferred to afternoon kindergarten at Lincoln Elementary School in Mt Lebanon.  I was a month late registering and the morning class was full. It seems fate had done her job.

Apparently customary at the time, afternoon kids had to keep a throw rug at school, a 15-minute nap- time being part of the curriculum.  Supposedy to calm and rest the kids but I’m pretty certain it was really to give the teachers a break and take a couple aspirins. But they might as well have declared indoor recess.

Rugs were stored alphabetically in large drawers. So, I, being a Gannon, had to put my rug in a drawer labeled; E, F, G, H. That drawer was occupied by rugs belonging to One Robert Hippert (Later to wear the moniker Lumpy) and One Barry Eby.

And so, it began.  Who would guess that it was the genesis of a kindergarten to grave friendship for the three of us.?

During elementary school through hundreds of hours on the playground at Lincoln, through little league and pony league baseball our bonds were forged, never to be broken.

Even though Barry and Bob went to Mt Lebanon High School and I to South Catholic High School we continued to hang out at Lincoln and at The REC.  When cars entered the picture, this presented an opportunity to join his high school friends to me and my high school friends. I probably needn’t tell you, that many of my old Catholic High school friends are friends of Barry to this day. 

In the sixties Barry’s older brother Drew and his buddy Mike Brennan were making a small fortune hosting keggers at South Park in the Community House, Buffalo Inn or Commissioners Lodge, (girls get in for a buck, guys pay 2 bucks) pure marketing genius). This was probably the first example of Eby entrepreneurship which Barry and his younger brother Chris would carry to new heights in their careers. Gatherings on the Twin Hills Drive homestead, whether poker or just partying, allowed Barry to cut his teeth on becoming a host extraordinaire.  His and Chris’s parties became legendary. Cars lined Twin Hills Drive in front of the house and Oak Forest behind the house where the driveway entered. During one party, Officer Skidmore, a young gung-ho Mt. Lebo patrolman, just a few years out of the Marines came to the door and wanted to see the owner. Barry said look Ferb, I know you have a history with this guy, which was true, Officer Skidmore didn’t much care for my teenage attitude.  Barry said there was no use in Officer Skidmore getting mad at him too, although he didn’t use quite that terminology. So, I took one for the team and got everyone to move their cars. Officer Skidmore was satisfied. Chalk one up for Barry.

When we were out of college we moved to the same apartment complex. He really began to shine.  All summer long he had rib cookouts, barrels of beer. Strangers off the street came.  Barry welcomed all, more friends cultivated.

Tom and Helen Snaith moved to Tom’s family farm near Farmington, PA just off route 40, east of Uniontown. They hosted an annual summer hog roast for over 30 years. Every year Barry would set up his bloody Mary bar at the pool, mixing his famous bloodies for one and all.  This could consume several hours but he wouldn’t stop until everyone was served.  Then he would take off his mixologist hat, put on his chef’s hat and tend to the hog along with Tom and Helen’s friend Doc.  Needless to say, Doc and Barry became fast friends even though they only saw each other once a year for 25 to 30 years.

If I’m not mistaken, Barry was the only guest to attend every hog roast. He always told me that but only Tom and Helen know for sure. When I missed my first hog roast after about 25 years he never let me forget it.

Barry was working at General Nutrition Center’s Downtown Pittsburgh office as their purchasing agent. He worked long and hard learned the business and was of course, very well regarded by the owners, coworkers, suppliers and customers alike. He was a rising star.

Then GNC decided that it would be more efficient to move their purchasing office to Spartanburg SC. where they had a large manufacturing plant. I asked him if he would move.  He Said, Ferb, I’m a Pittsburgher what the heck would I do in Spartanburg SC.  Besides they don’t have vitamin I there.  I said what the heck is Vitamin I.  He said Iron City.  It was the first time I had heard the expression. I don’t know how it originated but my money is on Barry. So, Barry declined to move, Started Healthy Origins and the rest is history.  His unequaled work ethic, his intelligence, his tenacity and negotiating skills were unparalleled.  And of course, his personality and entertainment abilities wooed suppliers and customers alike.  Who do you know who could leave an employer, start his own business and in one year earn more money than he did working for that employer. If you said Barry Eby, go to the head of the class.  And if that wasn’t enough, his ex-employer became one of his biggest customers. Go figure.

When Barry started dating a pretty lady from the Chicago area he asked my opinion.  I said if she’ll have you, you better move quickly. He did and Marsha became an accomplice, I’m sure sometimes unwillingly, to Barry’s various shenanigan’s.

So, the wedding was planned for Blue Island, IL.  As I remember, one of the biggest logistical issues, at least for Barry, was figuring a way to get a barrel of Vitamin I to the wedding.  I don’t remember all the details, Marsha may know but probably chose to forget some years ago.  I didn’t know if a barrel of beer would explode on a plane or not.  When I declined driving it to Chicago under ice, Barry said he and Lumpy would handle it.

And they did.  I think they found a way to fly it up. I know it arrived because we spent all day Friday sitting around the pool at the Holiday Inn in 90 plus degree heat drinking Iron City and playing pinochle with Drew running the show. The last time I saw the barrel, Lumpy had it on the bellman’s cart, going from door to door on our floor in the hotel offering Vitamin I to all takers.

It is reported that the keg spent the night in the Bride and groom’s room.  It was also reported that the bride got out of bed on her wedding day to a completely soaked carpet.  Apparently, the ice water in the tub had overflowed. The wedding went on as planned.  I knew then Marsha was in for the long haul and I’m pretty sure the hotel has never again accepted reservations from anyone named Eby.

For several years in the seventies we had an eclectic group of characters that rented a couple beach houses in North Myrtle Beach, SC.  Lumpy being the most experienced fisherman among us always took care of chartering the boat for our deep-sea fishing excursions. Tradition says you take what you want to eat from the catch, allowing the mate to supplement his income with proceeds from the sale of the unwanted fish.  But Barry had other ideas. He started negotiating with the mate for a percentage of the sale. I said Barry, give it up.  He’s a college kid, let him have the money. Barry asked Bob how much the charter cost.  Barry said he just wanted to recoup some of his share of the charter. I told him our fish was going to rot if we didn’t get back and cook it so he gave up. He just loved to negotiate over anything. And it sure served him well over the years

He was first and foremost a family man. He loved his family above all else. He was so proud of his children, and expressed to me great joy when Matt and Bret agreed to work with him. He and Marsha raised three great kids and I see him in each of them. I was so pleased when he and Marsha asked me to be Tiffany’s godfather. That confirmed my suspicion that they regarded me as a true friend.    He really loved his granddaughters and I’m so sad that they won’t get the chance to see first hand what a great man their grandfather was.

He was an entrepreneur of the highest level, building his company through smarts, hard work and ethics. With Marsha beside him they made the American dream come true.

He was a spiritual man but didn’t feel the need to wear it on his sleeve. He was a highly principled and moral man, generous and compassionate.  He had a great sense of humor and an openness that allowed everyone to recognize that he was a special man.  That is why he had so many good friends.  He carried an air of optimism with him everywhere. He was a totally positive person and it was always a pleasure to be with him. Barry, or Barret Frasier, as I liked to greet him, was one of those people who, if you are very, very lucky will cross your path on life’s journey. To have him as a friend was one of the greatest joys of my life.

No one could ever have a better friend. I know that we all feel a bit empty today and that our world has lost a terrific father, grandfather and brother, devoted husband and revered boss and unequaled friend.

He has moved to a better place, and that place will become even better with his arrival.     

Rest in Peace my friend.  And meet me at the Pearly Gates if I make it that far. It will be the ultimate test of your persuasiveness and negotiating skills convincing

St Peter that I belong.  I would assign that task to no one else. I love you and will miss you greatly.     










Age 71, of Upper St. Clair, died Thursday, February 15, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. Born May 1, 1946, he was the son of the late Herbert Eby and Marjorie Stiles. He graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School and Southern Illinois University with his Bachelor's Degree in Business. He enjoyed a variety of activities that included bowling and poker, listening to jazz music, and grilling. He was a huge Steelers fan and cheered on his daughter's college football team, the Alabama Crimson Tide. He will be remembered and missed by his wife, Marsha; his children, Tiffany and husband, James Oden, Matthew and wife, Kerri Eby, and Bret and wife, Jamie Eby; his grandchildren, Mackenzie Eby, Avery Eby, Clara Oden, and future baby Oden; his brothers, Christopher Eby and Drew (Jackie) Eby; his nieces and nephews, Winter, Michael, and Casey. Funeral arrangements by BEINHAUERS. Friends and family are welcome at 2828 Washington Rd., McMurray, 724-941-3211, on Monday 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. A Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday 10:30 a.m. in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1066 Washington Rd., 15228. Interment will follow at Jefferson Memorial Park. Please add or view tributes at:

Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Feb. 18, 2018




Subject: In Memoriam: Barrett Eby
Reply-To: St. Paul's Episcopal Church <news@stpaulspgh.org>

In Memoriam: Barrett Eby

Parishioner Barrett Eby, husband of Marsha Eby, father of Matthew, Bret and Tiffany Eby, father-in-law of Kerri Ann and Jamie Eby and grandfather of Mackenzie and Avery Eby, died on Thursday, February 15, 2018. 

Visitation with the family will be on Monday, February 19 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at Beinhauer Funeral Home (Peters Twp), 2828 Washington Road, McMurray, PA 15317.

A Funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1066 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon, PA 15228.
********Condolences may be sent to Marsha Eby, 1540 Sequoia Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15241.

May Barrett’s soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.






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02/16/18 12:30 AM #3    

Michael D Roberts

This was not expected by me. I made him promise to nclude me in the big card game at the next reunion. Barry and I played gin over a couple suumers. He always was ready for a card game. I have fond memories of shooting hoops and playing cards at his home as well as riding in his imperial. But I am going to relate a story I've told very few. We were playing little Washington in football our senior year. The previous year we played at their field and we were spit on, had sodas thrown on us and more coming back on the field after halftime. I've  never forgotten that. Well the following year we were undefeated when they came to play us. We were up 7-0 into the fourth quarter when they finally scored. Back then you had to go undefeated to qualify for the wpial championship game, so their extra point try was critical to us staying undefeated. As they set up to kick, I went to Barry who,played a safety spot on the extra point defense and told him there would be a big hole up the middle. I was the nose tackle. He wasn't sure to believe me, but we had become pretty close friends with all those gin games so he nodded ok. Sure enough he charged up the middle and blocked the extra point. We did get a late game turnover and score to win 13-6, but he actually saved our bacon, at least until uniontown. Now, why was there such a hole for him? Well, and true story, their center was a big, black guy who I had been dueling all game. On this particular play, and I'm not particularly proud, but given the previous seasons treatment, I uttered a racial slur towards him causing him to center the ball and come at me with great force. All I did was intentionally fall back taking him with me, leaving that hole for Barry. The following week,  the my lebo news had a picture of the blocked kick but credited it to me instead of Barry. My number was 63 and he was 53, so an easy mistake. Anyway, I have a lot of great memories, and he was one of the best, certainly one of the standout guys in our class. And this was the one and only time in my life I ever said something like that.

02/16/18 11:29 AM #4    

Sue Devlin

This one hurts....Barry was a dear friend of my brother and our family.  When I alerted friends and family about a "Go to Fund" set up by Dennis' daughter, Dawn, to assist with the education of her autistic son, Barry was right on it.....always caring and always sharing.   He and his two brothers (Drew and Chris) were a team...all hearty laughers and jokesters and just fun to be around.  He will be missed by many.  Deepest sympathy to Marcia and the family....may the wounds of his loss heal quickly and the loving memories fill that void.  Rest in peace, Barry.

02/16/18 12:28 PM #5    

Dennis Devlin

RIP Eb.......knowing ahead of time that you are on death's doorstep cannot be easy for anyone....but Barry showed his strength and grace handling his situation.  I spoke with him a few weeks back when I heard how bad things were and he was really into telling me about his health issure and how he wanted so much to survive through his son's upcoming wedding and the birth of his newest grand daughter....he said if he could do that he would be happy and ready for God to take him into His Paradise.  I hate to lose friends from Mt. Lebanon, those I went to college with and those I've come to know in my life.  But I believe that God has a plan for each of us and whatever that is I pray we will all come together again in Heaven.  God Bless all those who have gone before us and for those who read this I wish you a happy and joyous remaining life.

02/16/18 02:51 PM #6    

Brooks A (Dog) Diggans

Dear Ebe and family, God bless you all.I was so glad i got to speak with Barry last week  to express how much he and his family meant to me. Mr. Eby,Barry,Chris, and Andrew, They were all fantastic friends that led the way at a time when i felt lost. All of us could hang out at their house with never a harsh word, even when we were jackasses.Barry was a super guy awesome freind love you Barry!  Brooks   

02/17/18 11:27 AM #7    

Susan L Fleming (Morgans)

Like all the guys who have commented, I also remember hanging out at the Eby's house--yes, they let girls in sometimes--and I never even knew Mr. Eby was there until  he told me himself when he was, like, 80.  But I don't remember anything bad ever happening other than maybe kids having some beer.  I also have such great memories of Barry (and his brothers--it is hard to separate that trio) at Snaiths' parties over the years, having a great time with all his buddies, some of whom also are now gone.  Happy/sad memories. In contrast to the parties, in recent years, I saw him most often at church.  I am not a  regular church goer, but whenever I showed up, Barry was always there, and we always were glad to see each other, and he would chide me about not getting there more often.  This spiritual side of his nature was a revelation to me, as I had not realized that about him when we were kids. I did not know he was ill, although I saw Marcia and the family without him at church fairly recently and thought that odd (I did not get to speak with her). l hope hisbelief in a hereafter got him through what must have been an unbearable time for him and his family.  I am sorry I will not be able to pay my respects in person.  We will be in Colorado.


02/17/18 01:10 PM #8    

Barbara Wright (Renthal)

Barry was one of guys who was always in my fondest memories of my brief stint in Mt. Lebanon.  I'm so very sad to hear of his passing and hope his star shines brightly down on his family and friends.  RIP Barry.


02/17/18 01:21 PM #9    

Richard W Chowning

​Condolences to the Eby family. When my family moved to Mt. Lebanon in 1964 I was a jr in high school without a single friend. Dennis Devlin was one of my first friends that introduced me to the "Eb". He welcomed me to the card games where I met other friends that enjoyed taking my money as much as the "Eb" did LOL. We will all miss you buddy can't wait to reunite and deal them again! RIP "EB".....

02/18/18 03:33 PM #10    

Daniel A Dent

I was blessed to have Barry as one of my closest friends for 58 years. Those who knew him best knew there was far more to the man than a fun loving poker playing nut. He more than most people I have known, understood what being a fiend entailed. It is something that comes with no ties, but generosity and an open heart. Barry exemplified that. Truly a great father who helped raise three exceptional children, who blessed him with 5 grand children with a sixth on the way. He was also a successful entreprenaur, who created a very successful company that his boys will now run. Barry and I kept in monthly contact for over four decades. Sometimes they we're brief conversations and sonetimes lengthy; What they meant to me is hard to describe. They filled a void and reminded me of how lucky I was to have made the friends I did as as a kid. He was truly one of a kind. He was crazy, generous, moral, religious and a loving father and husband. I am so proud I can call him my friend. May all of you be blessed to have a friend like Barry. I was able to tell him My wife and I loved him, this past Tuesday, and he told us the same. The world is lonlier place without him.


02/25/18 10:17 AM #11    

Mary Helen Wilson (Beck)

It was quite wonderful to read Mike Gannon's sentiments, it was like traveling back in time.  I can't remember one time when I was with Barry, that we did not break out into laughter. I'm really grateful to Barry for everyone of those times.  What a legendary gift he was to all of us and he will live on and on in our memories.   from your high school friend and sunset hills neighbor "george" 

08/27/18 07:31 PM #12    

Robert C Fitzwilson

I was only part of the Mt. Lebanon group for a short period of time, but I do have many great memories.  Barry was amazing back then, but his accomplishments later on were just as amazing.  He was an outstanding athlete and a person, and it was my honor to know him.  I was somewhat of an outsider, but it is heartwarming to see the comments from people lucky enough to have known him much longer.



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