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!
BEAUTIFUL EULOGY PRESENTED AT THE FUNERAL BY MICHAEL GANNON:
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.
BARRETT F. EBY
EBY, BARRETT F.
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
OBITUARY POSTED FROM HIS CHURCH:
Subject: In Memoriam: Barrett Eby
Reply-To: St. Paul's Episcopal Church <firstname.lastname@example.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.