Joan Phyllis Barry (Volckhausen), 85, passed away peacefully Sunday morning January 17, 2021 following a 14-year battle with Alzheimers. She is survived by her sister, Ann Kay, her children, Peter D. Barry, Jr. and his wife Lisa (Lixin) and Mark A. Barry and significant-other, Lori Brighton, Joans cousin Jody Formon Nolan, Joans grandchildren, Rebecca Barry and Ryan Barry, nephew Alex Kay and his wife Mary Kay, nieces, Roberta Estep and Kathryn Kay, foster-daughter Susan Coombs, foster-grandsons Michael Landry (pre-deceased), Christopher Landry his wife Laura Landry, their foster great-grand-children Ethan Landry and Daniel Landry, and many many friends. Joan was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on May 24th, 1935. Joans parents, Walter Julius Volckhausen and Eva Louise Volckhausen (Formon), began their family in West Englewood/Teaneck, New Jersey. While Joan grew up in Jersey which included plenty of shopping trips to New York City, after a family cross-country road trip in 1949, Walter and Eva moved the family to Phoenix, Arizona in August of 1950. Joan and her sister Ann completed junior high, high school and their college years in Phoenix and Tucson. Joan had a passion for fashion from the east coast, however, she came to know and appreciate the American south west as well. After graduating from the University of Arizona (Tucson) where she was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, Joan met Peter Barry Sr. through her sister's husband, deputy sheriff Wicky Kay. Peter was stationed in Scottsdale, AZ and San Francisco, CA Crissy Field as part of the Presidio. Joan, following her passion for marketing and fashion, completed her masters degree in business at NYU in 1958. Joan and Peter were married in 1959 and moved into their first house in Arizona. However, Joan and Peter soon moved back east to Marshfield, Massachusetts, later settling in Plymouth, MA. Peter Jr. was born in 1962 and Mark Andrew arrived in 1964. Joan also earned a Master of Education from Lesley College and began her 30-year career in education in the Plymouth School System. Joans boundless enthusiasm and optimism was infectious, and she and Peter Sr. opened their home and family to their foster-daughter Susan Coombs in 1966. Although Joan grew up in the 50's as a member of the Young Republicans Club, in the 60's Joan was all about JFK, RFK, MLK, and the womens lib movement. She became very active and passionate about local politics and often participated in Democratic party campaigns and elections. She frequently helped to organize and participate in demonstrations such as 'No Nukes' and was proudly arrested at the Seabrook New Hampshire nuclear power plant. Later in Joans career, she became president of the MTA, Massachusetts Teachers Association. Joan loved music which ranged from Frank Sinatra (for whom she often recalled all the screaming female crowds back in Jersey) to Elvis, The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins and many more. Joans home on 20 Alden Street was not a large place, however it was large in warmth and compassion as she came to be a safe place for many of Peter, Mark and Susans friends and family. Joan retired from teaching in 1999 just as her grandchildren Rebecca and Ryan joined the Barry family. Joan happily helped out with the new arrivals through the early 2000s. By 2007 Peter, Mark and the family realized it was time to return the love and support Joan had given for so many decades. In 2016 Joan moved in with Peter Jr. and his family so they could return the love and care she had given for so long. The love and support of her sons Peter and Mark, daughter-in-law Lixin, sister Ann and niece Kathy, was expressed not just in words, but in the countless trips to and from the doctors offices, the Duxbury Senior Center and to and from Peter and Ann and Kathys home. In the end, it made all the difference in Joans battle against Alzheimers. Joan will always be remembered as a loving daughter, sister, mother, aunt, cousin, grandmother, teacher, mentor and friend. A period of visitation will take place on Sunday, August 29, 2021, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Cartmell Life Celebration Funeral Home, 150 Court Street, Plymouth, followed by a memorial service at 2:00 pm. Donations in Joans name may be made to the Alzheimer's Association
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Published by Old Colony Memorial on Aug. 24, 2021.