Barry Hollander
1958 - 2018
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My name is Barry Hollander, of Athens, Georgia. I died on January 30, 2018 due to complications related to thyroid cancer at the age of 59. Yes, I wrote my own obituary in advance. No one who knows me is surprised.

Thyroid cancer killed me. It's usually treatable with a high survival rate, but I was blessed with a rare genetic mutation that allowed the cancer to shrug off the standard treatment and take a tour of my lungs. Drugs forced the cancer to behave itself for a few years and I continued to work while dealing with a host of colorful side effects and occasional pain. For treatment I traveled to MD Anderson in Houston, the top cancer center in the country, and my doctor there is an expert in the field.

Even an expert can only do so much. Eventually the cancer won.

I was a journalism professor at the University of Georgia for over 26 years, teaching basic and advanced reporting classes and, at the graduate level, public opinion. I never allowed my students to write their assignments in the first person, so it's ironic that my very last piece of published writing is in, of all things, first person. We'll come back to this in a moment.

To many in Athens I'm best known as Edith Hollander's husband. To put this in traditional obituary phrasing, I leave behind my wonderful wife, the very best part of me. It sucks that I won't get to grow old with her. It sucks that I won't get to watch our amazing children raise families of their own: Jacob (a geologist with Schnabel Engineering in Greensboro, N.C.) and Erin (an MD/PhD student at UPenn in Philadelphia). Both, just amazing. Just short of your first child arriving you think it won't be all that different, right up until the moment you hold him that first time and the entire universe reorders itself. You think with the second child it won't be that big a deal, and again when you first hold her, the universe changes again. Despite all my threats to send our kids to Jesuit military boarding school, nothing comes close to the delight in watching them grow into remarkable adults.

It's time now for the boring but necessary stuff because this is my last chance to bore everyone and you're obligated to slog through it. I mentioned above I am survived by my wife and two children.. I'm also survived by my sister, Deni Patton of Ethridge, Tennessee, of whom I was never the brother I should've been. I was preceded in death by my father, the fiercely loyal Buddy Hollander, and my mother, the ever-patient Shelby Hollander, who was probably her own guardian angel's guardian angel. I was a better father than I ever was a son.

More boring information. I was born in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, at that time a Mayberryesque small southern town where you can also trace journalism roots as my dad was a circulation manager for the two large Nashville daily newspapers and in charge of several counties along the Tennessee-Alabama border. So I grew up surrounded by newspapers. By age 12 I was a paperboy, peddling a bike at 5 a.m. in all kinds of weather to deliver the morning paper and then doing it again at 3 p.m. for those who took the afternoon paper. At 14 I increased the size of my route and bought my first motorcycle, a thing legal at the time. By 16 I had a bigger route, a bigger motorcycle, and I also bought my first car. I delivered papers through high school and sometimes on weekends when home from college. Surrounded by papers, I grew up reading the news of the 1960s and 1970s, prime time when it came to big stories, but in college I majored in of all things marine biology -- right up until that fateful semester when organic chemistry convinced me that perhaps journalism was a better career choice.

After graduation I took a reporting job at a small daily newspaper in Mississippi, where I began accumulating the usual awards you get in the news business, such as best investigative reporting or best breaking news coverage. True story: on my first day at that paper, having nothing else to do with no assignments yet, the editor gave me a pile of obits to write. Here I am, full circle, writing my own.

Later I moved to a daily paper in Louisiana where I met my wife, Edith, who was also a reporter there. After that, I covered politics and government for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. At some point Edith and I rolled the career dice, quit our jobs, and moved to Gainesville, Florida, to attend graduate school at the University of Florida, she in public relations, me in journalism (our marriage survived). The plan was for us to both get our masters degrees, me in a specialty like data journalism, and then I'd return to the news business. That changed when grad school -- and Dr. Mary Ann Ferguson -- sparked in me a love of academic research, so I stayed for a Ph.D and in Fall 1991 took a job as an assistant professor at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at UGA. Years later, through sheer dumb luck or perhaps after being around for so long they felt obligated to give it to me, I made full Professor, being one of the top scholars in talk radio, how people learn from the news media, and why people believe in theories.

I never once regretted accepting the UGA job, though once or twice perhaps Grady did. I got to work with the very best faculty in the world, got to work with the very best students in the world, and got to live and raise a family in the very best town in the world. I'm convinced Heaven, assuming I go there, looks a lot like Athens.

Send flowers if you like, as Edith loves them, but in my memory raise a good glass of bourbon or single-malt whisky. In my memory, tell stories about me, especially the ones that make me sound like an idiot. In my memory, buy a young person a subscription to a good news source like The New York Times. And in my memory, watch out for Edith, the love of my life. I never deserved someone as good as her, and she doesn't deserve this.

The visitation will be held at Lord & Stephens funeral home on Lexington Road on Thursday, February 1 from 6:00-8:00pm. The funeral Mass will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Epps Bridge on Friday, February 2 at 3:30pm. Flowers can be sent to Lord & Stephens funeral home.

Lord and Stephens, East is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com



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Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Jan. 31, 2018.
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74 entries
February 15, 2018
Cancer sucks. I will miss his posts and all I learned from him. I am truly shocked how quick supposedly this "good" cancer (thyroid) took Ghelan's life. I will certainly buy a subscription for my son to the New York Times in honor of him. I loved his honesty and humor. I am writing as honest as I can to pay tribute to a man I never met but had great respect for. I followed his posts because they were there to guide us. My condolences to the love of his life Edith and his two amazing children.
Melissa
February 14, 2018
Dear family and friends of Barry, a.k.a. Ghelan. Know that I am praying for you as you deal with the loss of his physical presence. I hope and pray that you are soon able to celebrate his new life. He was an interesting member of the ThyCa.org Inspire community and will be dearly missed. Peace and Blessings to you, "beingcelestial"
Angel Conicelli
February 14, 2018
Edith and Family,

I am sorry that we have not met. I am a childhood friend that lived in Lawrenceburg and sometimes rode my bike with Barry just cruising the neighborhood. I do not recall which bike was his first paper delivery vehicle but we began biking with the banana seat and big "chopper" handlebars. We sometimes clipped a playing card to the wheels with a clothes pin to make a motor sound. We had great times in Boy Scouts. I am sorry for his loss but see that he continued life as well as he lived it as a boy. Prayers for you and family. Chris Remke
Chris Remke
February 12, 2018
Edith, Erin & Jacob,
I can't imagine everything you've been through during the last five years. I know that the three of you were the shining stars in Barry's life, and the reason he fought so hard and stayed so tough during everything he went through. I met Barry in Punta Gorda, right after he and Edith married. Over the years, he grew ever prouder of his family, and despite his wit and sense of humor, he couldn't conceal his love and pride. A family as loving and solid as yours is truly a rare and beautiful thing. Barry touched many others beyond his friends and family. Hundreds, if not thousands, of young journalists carry a piece of him every time they combine words into sentences... and I'm sure they'll forever hear his words of wisdom, delivered as only Barry could do.
Karen Lee
February 6, 2018
Stephen enjoyed coaching Jacob in soccer, and I enjoyed knowing you, Edith, from our PTO days.I am so sorry for your loss, and my prayers go out to you and your family. Trina Lawrence
February 5, 2018
We are remembering you & your family in our thoughts & prayers. I was Barry's Scoutmaster for a few years & he was a fine young boy. (Barry's Grandfather & my Father were brothers)
Dan & Cathy Hollander
February 5, 2018
Dearest Edith ,
I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. He sounds like an amazing human being and wish I had had the blesssing to have known him.
Jackie Malbrough DeRoche
February 5, 2018
The world is a dimmer place without Barry. As a fellow paperboy and childhood friend, he was always quick with a barb and the first to laugh.
wayne berry
February 5, 2018
Mr Hollander,
I never met you in person ,however you will make your rounds to everyone in spirit.I
think you penning your own obit was very courageous of you as you lived your humble life.Nothing that you have ever wrote in this world was boring as I've read it was of all excellence,so I lit a candle for you to continue to pen your remarkable words for all to read in heaven,you were sir your own guardian angel in this life,now your are a prophet to God,continue to write the bible for us to read to give us the knowledge to know God and his greatness.Until we meet "write on" Mr Hollander.
Ross Fly
February 4, 2018
The most beautiful thing I have ever read
February 2, 2018
Edith, I am so sorry for your loss. From his obit, it appears that your hubby Barry was prepared for his next stage of life; I hope that this thought brings you some peace.

Bless you,

Joey
Joey Detiveaux
February 2, 2018
Barry was a Facebook acquaintance. His presence on Fb provided information and comfort to so many people. He will be missed. My prayer to you Edith and your family
Charles Abruzzo
February 2, 2018
Edith and family,
I am so very sorry for your loss. May God grant you His loving peace and comfort during this difficult time.
Laura Griffith
February 2, 2018
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February 2, 2018
Edith- I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Rima Sullivan
February 2, 2018
Barry was a friend, invaluable colleague and the funniest person I had ever met when he and I worked in the same bureau of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune beginning in 1985. The character his young students speak about now is the character he had then -- tough and cynical on the outside, but in heart, the most gentle and good person, made better by wonderful Edith who saw through the bluster and grew his good heart bigger. Fearlessly, he edited his own editors' corporate memos, posted the temperature of our ramshackle Florida newsroom in the heat of the summer, and zinged with his great words the politically too-clever. Even so, if those old, hulking computers ate one of my stories or I needed help with a lead, he was my resource for perspective and sanity. Erin and Jacob, he loved you both so much, from the very beginning, just as he writes. You melted him. And getting Edith -- her laughter, her common sense, her crawfish etouffee. These were the world to him, too. Sad news for us all, but good news for heaven.
Elizabeth Johnson
Friend
February 1, 2018
I'm a Grady grad, and while I never had Dr. Hollander as a professor, I know how much he meant to our beloved college & university. I wish I'd gotten to know him and was sad to hear "the news" -- no pun intended, but I think he'd appreciate that based on his obit (which, relatively speaking, I enjoyed reading). My red & black heart goes out to his family, friends, peers, & students.
Karen Gailey
February 1, 2018
Dear Edith, I am so sorry for your loss. Simply put, Barry was a terrific friend. We are all immeasurably better for knowing him.
- Dean Krugman
February 1, 2018
Farewell, old friend.
Glen Bleske
February 1, 2018
Mrs. Hollander,
I didn't know your family but I would like you to know how deeply Mr. Hollander's obituary touched me. Much love and prayers to you and your family.
Wendy Wyatt
February 1, 2018
Dear Edith

So very sorry for your loss. Barry's obituary was wondurful. I am a FB friend and I just want to let your family know that Barry was a such a wonderful, positive Influenece in my Thyca journey and I am forever grateful. Peace be with you. S Egan
February 1, 2018
Dear Edith and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Sending hugs.
-Vera
Vera Ozmore
February 1, 2018
I never knew Barry, but after reading that I feel like I missed out somehow. What a wonderful, humorous and heartfelt obituary. My sincere condolences to his two amazing children, and Edith, who didn't deserve this.
Amanda Hesterman
February 1, 2018
Prayimg for your family from his family in tennessee mrs shelia oliver
February 1, 2018
Oh Barry.., I so wish this had been fake news... I will lift a glass (or at least a cup of coffee) in your name. I am thankful to have known you as the husband and love of my dear friend Edith's life. I will miss quick breakfasts and meals as you all traveled to Louisiana.
Jacob and Erin, my thoughts and prayers are with you both.
Edith, I wish I knew what to say. My heart hurts for you. Please know that my love, thoughts and prayers are with you today and always.
Until we meet again, Barry, Rest in peace!
Marlene Naquin
Friend
February 1, 2018
I'm a 1981 Grady grad (and second generation UGa alumni), so I never knew Dr. Hollander. Till now. Wow. I'm happy to see he saved his best work for last. In his honor and at his suggestion, I'll be giving a Millennial a newspaper subscription, since I have more than I can read presently. God save the fourth estate. God rest BH's wonderful soul. He clearly left a lasting legacy.
Ron King
February 1, 2018
Edith, having watched you and Barry through graduate school, I know how much he loved and admired you. When two are soulmates, the passing of one will only strengthen the bond. I can't begin to tell you how humbled I was to receive Barry's mention in his obituary. Both he and you were important to me in those early years and I have so many fond memories from the classes you took with me and of Barry's dissertation year. My prayers and love are with you and your family.
Mary Ann Ferguson
February 1, 2018
So sorry to hear of Barry's passing. May God comfort you and your family. He leaves behind a wonderful family. I have really enjoyed watching your children grow up to be fine people. Thank you for all you have done for our church and community. God bless you.
John Steffl
February 1, 2018
I detest brown liquor, but I esteem Barry so much more. Will send him the heartiest of "cheers" as I fraudulently manage a fine single malt. After taking his fine public opinion grad class, I started reading his superb writing.
Everbest wishes to his family. Barry, Vaya con Dios.
Deborah Chasteen
February 1, 2018
Edith, I never knew your husband, but I read his self-written obituary on, of all things, Facebook. This is the loveliest obituary I have ever read. It's also the best-written obituary I've ever read. Your husband sounds like a remarkable man. I wish I could have known him in this life, but perhaps I will meet him in the next. I am holding you and your family in my heart and prayers during this tough time. ~ Peace, Patressa G. Kearns, Luray, VA
February 1, 2018
family time
Edith, my heart breaks for you and your two wonderful children. After laughing and crying reading the story of his life, I only wish we could have spent more family time together. my love and prayers to you all.
Kelly Turner
January 31, 2018
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January 31, 2018
Dear Edith,

I am so sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Julia Ledet
January 31, 2018
Hello, Edith and family - I'm the mom of one of Barry's students who had him for one day this semester. He told the students he was sick - my daughter thought that he must have had some minor affliction - and then she received word that he had died. She is so saddened by this and wishes she'd known him. And I am so saddened by this yet am grateful that one class, one hour, one encounter can have this kind of impact. We are thinking of you and hope that your many days together leave you with endless treasured memories.
Kim Tolmie
January 31, 2018
Edith,

I am so very sorry. Prayers for you and your family. You have my deepest sympathy.
Lin Morgan
January 31, 2018
I never met Dr. Hollander but after reading his awesome obituary, I am 100% certain that he wrote "peddling a bike" instead of "pedaling a bike" as either (a) an inside joke to his colleagues and students who knew his dedication to good proofreading or (b) a joke on all of us because he knew it would irk!

I tip my hat to you, Professor Hollander.

And I send my condolences to your family who must miss you terribly.
Phil Marsosudiro
January 31, 2018
Sweet Edith ~ I was so very saddened to hear of Barry's passing. I'm out of the loop these days, so I was surprised to read of his passing. Even his obituary was a teaching opportunity for those of us who will choose a non-traditional write up when we (hopefully) hit the road to the Pearly Gates. Please know that I will be keeping you and your children close in prayer as you move into your new normal. Love Always, LHO
Linda ONeal
January 31, 2018
I was honored to have Dr. Hollander as my Information Gathering professor this past fall. Though he seemed quite intimidating at first, Hollander quickly grew to become one of my favorite professors. His sarcasm reached legendary levels and he never failed to express his faith in journalism and its future. It was a pleasure to know him and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Alyssa Chester
January 31, 2018
Hollie
January 31, 2018
So sorry to hear of Barry's passing. Please accept my & Mary's deepest condolensces.
Stephen & Mary Neil
January 31, 2018
Amazing obituary. I have never met Prof. Barry Hollander but I learned so much from this remarkable piece. Thank you for such a great life and leaving us with some great lessons and advice. God bless you my friend. You will rest in peace.

Dave Chatterjee, UGA Professir
Dave Chatterjee
January 31, 2018
Edith, i am so very sorry for your loss. Barry was a great man and will be missed by many. Please know that you and the children are in my prayers, as is he.
June Compton
January 31, 2018
Your husband/father taught my daughter at Grady where she is currently a senior. She brought me by his office to meet him just after the end of fall semester. He wasnt in that day, but his office door demonstrated a little bit of his personality. Rachel loved his class and had been keeping my aware of his illness. She bought a card for him just a day before his passing. His obituary touched me and my husband so much that we both cried reading it. He was loved by a large community of people and we will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace.
Lori Thomas
January 31, 2018
Gail Robinson
January 31, 2018
R.I.P. brother Hollander from a friend and fraternity brother from your undergraduate days at the University of North Alabama. You will be missed. Prayers going out to your family
Toby Davis
January 31, 2018
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Elizabeth Johnson
January 31, 2018
My husband, a student of Barry's at UGA, passed the link to his obituary along to me and I wanted to post a note of appreciation because when you receive a gift, you say thank you. While I did not know Barry, I can tell a lot about him from his final piece of writing. He was a man who understood what the good stuff in life is. Reading his words was a reminder of these; passion, integrity, devotion, humor, loyalty, resistance, acceptance, and the ability to impact and be impacted by others. Blessings to his family.
Jill Garrett
January 31, 2018
I'm surprised by how much of Barry's teaching I've carried with me since I sat in his class 7 years ago. It's a testament to his impact. Thank you.
Elizabeth Mitchell
January 31, 2018
Barry was a true inspiration to me on our forum for RAI resistant people. He was always there with advice, ideas and just general wit and a positive attitude. I just wanted to offer my condolences to his wife and family at this time. You must know how loved he was and this reached far and wide. I live in the UK and know there are many like me who will miss him so much. Thank you Barry, May you Rest in Peace. Mary Taylor UK.
January 31, 2018
What Barry left out of his obituary is that when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, he joined our Facebook group looking for some kind of hope and others like him. I met him at the end of his life knowing that our friendship most likely would be brief. I wish I had known him prior to being sick. I instantly recognized his intelligence and his wit, and he soon became an admin of our small little group of rare metastatic thyroid cancer patients. He was one of only 3 admins...I entrusted him with my baby. But he was exactly the kind of person you'd want for an admin for a thyroid cancer group. And he also was in other forums and helped scoop up those like us and helped them find a place where they felt less alone. He knew what the group truly was about...helping us all feel a little less alone going through it. He was my voice of reason often. I knew that if I needed a grounded opinion to ask Barry.
He also wrote/journaled about his thyroid cancer experience often and shared his experiences with us. And through it all he always kept a ray of hope and a bit of sass. But what he wrote often spoke for us all and he helped give us all a voice in our group. He promoted awareness of our disease and he put to words just how difficult it is to live with an incurable form of cancer. There is no way I'll ever be able to thank him enough for all that he did for the group and the thyroid cancer community.
It's bittersweet that I knew what he'd want before ever reading his obituary, so after he said his goodbyes to our group, we sent him off with a Whisky Salut just like I know he'd want.
You touched the hearts of so many in the thyroid cancer community, Barry. You're going to be very sorely missed. There's a lot of glasses being raised to you buddy! If anyone deserves to make it into heaven, I think it's you. God knows how you spent the end of your life helping others. I'm sure you've earned some wings, buddy
Beth Holliday
January 31, 2018
Mrs Hollander, I am so thankful for your husband's influence on the life of my grandson who was an Honors student and one of his majors was in Journalism. I am so saddened for your loss and the loss to the students at UGA that he will never be able to help. Life is not fair, and neither is death.
Linda Hodges
January 31, 2018
Prayer for the family
Jonna Ussery
January 31, 2018
Dr. Hollander was an exceptional professor, and an extremely generous man. I was lucky enough to take his classes while doing my master's degree at UGA, and even more lucky that, years later, he still remembered me enough to write me a personal recommendation for my dream job. He leaves us far too soon.
Michael Harman
January 31, 2018
Edith, Jacob and Erin,

I am so sorry for your loss. Barry was an amazing person. I wish I had known him better. My heart aches for you and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Mark Ralston
January 31, 2018
Barry was first my professor, later my colleague and friend. He taught me about journalism, and about how to tell a good story - a skill that has served me very well in my career. He was a regular (and favored) guest on my radio show and I will greatly miss him. I know I am not alone in the tears I shed at his passing and I am very sorry for all that share in this grief, especially Edith and his children, whom I've never met but I know much about.
April Reese Sorrow
January 31, 2018
Barry was a wonderful colleague and friend. He made everything better with his humor and his intelligence. And he was just a nice person. He will be missed greatly. I had sent some flowers Monday with a little MAGA humor that I thought Barry might laugh at. I hope he had a chance to see them because he did make UGA and America Great! I am sure you know how much he loves you all. There was not a conversation I had with him that did not somehow end up with a story about what his kids were doing and how amazing he thought they were.
Audrey Haynes
January 31, 2018
Edith, Erin, and Jacob, my heart hurts for each of you. Take comfort in the positive impact Barry had on so many folks.
Jane Boyd
January 31, 2018
There is a place called heaven' where the good here unfinished is completed; and where the stories unwritten, and the hopes unfulfilled, are continued.
Jacob Hamilton
January 31, 2018
Edith, words cannot express my sorrow in hearing this news. Please accept my deepest sympathy and know that my prayers are with you at this time.
Susie Detiveaux
January 31, 2018
Condolences from a former student ... he taught me a lot
Stephen Gurr
Student
January 31, 2018
Prof. Hollander was an incredible professor who helped guide me- and a plethora of other students eager to put pen to paper- through not only my undergraduate journalism degree at UGA, but likewise in my masters at Grady. I'm so sorry and saddened to hear of his passing. But I have to agree, Heaven must look a lot like Athens.
Anna Ferguson Hall
January 31, 2018
A great piece by a great guy.
Linda Salisbury, formerly Sarasota Herald-Tribune
January 31, 2018
Grateful to have known Barry as an unforgettable professor - he was my first taste of journalism and I knew it was going to be a ride! Peace to Edith and family.
Morgan
January 31, 2018
Edith, my thoughts and prayers are with you, Jacob and Erin. I did not know Barry but I sure wish I had. The world is a better place because of Barry and the mark he made on so many lives will last a lifetime. Hugs to you and yours during this difficult time.
Heather Matherly
January 31, 2018
Edith, Jacob and Erin;

Barry was loved by all at UGA and Saint Joesph Parish. He was one of the most talented teachers I have ever met. Even those of us who worked with him, learned from him. I'm so glad a got to know Barry. He made the world a better place just by being here.
Pete Konenkamp
January 31, 2018
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January 31, 2018
I'm so sorry, Edith, Jacob, and Erin. I knew you all at Barnett Shoals while my kids went there too (Rebecca and Erica Carlton). May you find peace.
Paula Moon
January 31, 2018
Barry was a fine, intelligent man that is truly being mourned. He was a leader & friend to the members in our RAI Resistant Thyroid Cancer group on Facebook AND many others. He made tremendous sacrifices to beat this cancer & help others. Barry was unequivocally one in a million. He fought very hard and made us all proud. I only hope he knew that & how much we cared. After some healing, I hope that you, his family can read SOME of our posts online in that group honoring him. Take time to heal. Thank you Barry for everything. And to the true loves of his life, his family, my very deepest sympathies.
Reva Kay Mosholder
January 31, 2018
I knew months ago that Barry was sick because of his intrepid Facebook posts; he was dealing with his illness, and he was working it out with the rest of us who kept in touch (however distant) on Facebook. Barry never taught me in a class, but he taught me all the same as I watched him day in and day out in lectures to his 200+ student Intro to Media class; I was his TA in 1998...and for two years as I worked on my MA and helped him teach and grade. I also knew Barry after that time; I stayed at Grady for my PhD and would stop in and chat. He always had something wry to say; he always made me chuckle. He was just like that. He talked about his online creative writing classes and his research. Once I went to his house; his kids still lived there, and I met his sweet wife. It was a long time ago. I am so very sorry to know that Barry has passed on. To this day, I still think of his famous line to his journalism students: "If you want to be liked, teach Kindergarten." He was one of a kind. God bless his family. RIP, Barry Hollander. XO.
Tonya Carr
January 30, 2018
Linda Eberenz
January 30, 2018
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Carla Sherwood
January 30, 2018
Edith, I am so sorry to hear of Barry's passing. All my prayers are with you and your children at this time. Prayers, hugs, and love from Kansas. Louise Benjamin
January 30, 2018
Though too short, it sounds like a warm and wonderful life. You did yourself proud. Enjoy the peace you have coming.
Ellen McNail. (Mother of Stacy McNail).
January 31, 2018
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
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