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James Barr

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James Barr Obituary
James Louis Barr James Barr of Austin, Texas died Saturday, December 29, 2012 while visiting family in his home state of South Carolina. James was born in Norway, South Carolina on October 9, 1931 to Elec Alexander Barr & Catherine Elizabeth Robinson. James joined the Army at the age of 14 during the end of World War II. Upon serving his stint in the Army, James enlisted in the Air Force and proudly served during the Korean War. While stationed in Texas he met and married the love of his life, Ruth Eckman Barr. They were married for 54 years. James is credited with being a pioneer in bringing Bluegrass Music to Texas. He formed the band, Jim & Leon, which later became the Texas Bluegrass Boys. After his daughter Sherri joined the band, the band became known as Grassfire. Jim's cross-picking mandolin style and vocal harmonies were in high demand. Jim released three critically acclaimed albums, The Texas Bluegrass Boys, Bluegrass to Walk On and Family Reunion as well as participating in the Austin compilation album, Texas Reunion. James is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ruth Barr; his parents, Elec and Catherine Barr; his brothers, Howard LeGrand Barr & David Edward Barr; and half-brother Richard Wayne Barr and nephew Duane Edward Barr. James is survived by his children; son David Wayne Barr & wife Linda of Round Rock, daughter Denise Pittard & husband David of Cedar Park, daughter Dianne Holt & husband Burns of Georgetown, and daughter Sherri Barr Walker & husband Barry of Pflugerville; grandchildren Dennis Pittard, Zachary Zezulka, Nicholas Barr, Lisa Pittard, Melody Barr-Gifford, Cassandra Davis and Stetson Walker; great grandchildren Emma Pittard, Chase Birdsong, Nicholas, Jr. & Kadence Barr, Peyton Gifford, Abbi Smith, and Danielle & Brooke Davis. Sister-in-law June Eckman Mansfield and husband Lonnie of Bedford; Sister-in-law Joy Barr of Orangeburg, SC., nephew Mitch Mansfield of Nevada, Teri Mansfield of Bedford, Debonie Barr Funchess of Rowesville, S.C. and Chrystel Barr Rogers of Orangeburg, S.C., and many beloved family members friends. Pallbearers are Lonnie Mansfield, Mitch Mansfield, Barry Walker, Stetson Walker, Dennis Pittard, Nicholas Barr & Zach Zezulka. Visitation will be held at Beck Funeral Home on RM 620 in Round Rock on Thursday, January 3, 2013 from 5 -7 p.m. Funeral service will be held at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1500 W. Anderson Lane, Austin on Friday, January 4, 2013 at 10 a.m. Burial to follow at Austin Memorial Cemetery on Hancock Drive, Austin. A reception will follow at Redeemer Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Redeemer Lutheran Church.



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Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jan. 2, 2013
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