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Popular & Influential Massachusetts Golf & Sports Writer Passes
C. Roger Barry of Braintree, a retired sportswriter and golf editor for The Patriot Ledger, died January 22 at Harbor House Nursing Home in Hingham, Mass., after a brief illness. He was 92.
Born in Boston, Mr. Barry was raised and educated in Weymouth and moved to Braintree more than 50 years ago. Mr. Barry worked at The Patriot Ledger in Quincy for 52 years. During his career, he covered baseball, football, hockey, basketball, the Boston Marathon, school sports and golf.
From 1946 to 1959, he covered the Braves and Red Sox [team stats], and for 26 years the Bruins [team stats]. He reported on 19 consecutive Boston Marathons and had been a Heisman Trophy voter since 1947. During his 23 years covering the Celtics [team stats], beginning in 1948, he was credited by team co-owner Walter Brown as having a leading role in the hiring of Red Auerbach as the Celtics' coach in 1950.
Mr. Barry worked in Bruins media relations from 1950 to 1964 and was the official scorer for the Bruins' home games for 11 years. He later worked as the New England correspondent for Hockey News and its French edition for 17 years. Mr. Barry was co-founder of the National Hockey League Writer's Association and, along with former Bruins stars Doug Mohns and Don McKenney, was a co-owner and co-founder of the All-Star Hockey School.
He also co-founded several local golf tournaments, including the Hornblower Memorial Tournament, John Cronin Memorial Tournament, Norfolk County Classic and the Norfolk County Two-Ball Classic. He was founder and chairman of the Southeastern Amateur Championship in 1960 and served as its director for nearly 40 years. For 28 years, Mr. Barry served on the operating committee of the Braintree Municipal Golf Course, playing a key role in expanding it to 18 holes and constructing a clubhouse, where the members' room is now named in his honor. He also served on the board of directors of the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund and the Roger Barry Scholarship is named for him.
Mr. Barry was the only golf writer to serve for 10 years on the PGA of America's national advisory committee. He was a member of the U.S. Golf Association, Massachusetts Golf Association and New England Senior Golfers Association, and was a founding member of the Braintree Golf Association. He was also affiliated with the Boston Bruins Alumni Association and Boston Braves association and was a member of the Weymouth High School Athletic Hall of Fame and an honorary member of the Quincy High School football, basketball and baseball halls of fame.
"Roger was the president of the Golf Writers Association of America for many years," retired pro football writer Ron Hobson told Dick Trust of The Patriot Ledger. "And he was on a first-name basis with all the greats - the Palmers, the Nicklauses - because they knew he cared about the game of golf. He was a guy you wanted to talk to about golf. You wanted to hear what he had to say.
"Not only did Roger care about golf, he actively promoted the game, certainly on the South Shore but also around the state," Hobson told Trust. "He brought more people up through the ranks - players and professionals, assistant professionals - exposed them to success, helped guys get jobs. He was just a conduit of golf information and a great benefactor of the game.
"He covered the Masters for many, many years, and other major tournaments, yet he was a friend of the littlest junior golfer as well as the top professionals. It was the same in other sports. He was unique." (For Trust's full story, visit http://www.patriotledger.com/sports/x739236477/Former-colleagues-remember-longtime-Ledger-sports-writer-C-Roger-Barry?zc_p=0.)
Mr. Barry received the Massachusetts Golf Association's Frank Sellman Award for outstanding contributions to golf in 1991 and the New England PGA's first distinguished service award in golf journalism in 1999, the 1988 GWAA's William D. Richardson Award for outstanding contributions to golf, and the Pleasant Valley Country Club's Cuz Mingolla Award for contributions to the success of PGA and Ladies PGA tournaments in Sutton in 1990. In total, Mr. Barry received 17 national and international writing awards.
A history buff, Mr. Barry had collected more than 11,000 history books. His wife (Marie) preceded him in death. Mr. Barry is survived by two daughters, Jane Gallagher Carelli of Holbrook, Mass., and Priscilla A. Campbell of Weymouth; a son, C. Roger Jr. of Pembroke; and two granddaughters. A funeral Mass was celebrated January 28 at Immaculate Conception Church in Weymouth.
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