In Memory

Dennis J Barry

Dennis J Barry

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10/26/13 11:17 PM #1    

John Weibel


Hon. Dennis J. Barry

Honorable Dennis J. Barry, age 64, passed away Thursday, August 18, 2011. He was born in Racine, April 4, 1947, son of the late Alex and Faith (Nee: Cheska) Barry. 

Dennis graduated from Washington Park High School “Class of 1965” and went on to graduate from Lawrence University. He served in the U.S. Army for two years and then entered Marquette Law School, graduating in 1973. 

On January 5, 1980, he was united in marriage to Joan M. McCallum. Dennis worked as a lawyer in the capacity of Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney, in private practice with the firm Thompson and Coates Ltd, as Racine County District Attorney and since 1980 as a Racine County Circuit Court Judge. He was recognized as “Judge of the Year” in 1997 by the State Bar of Wisconsin. He belonged to the Arizona Bar Assn., the Racine County Bar Assn., the Wisconsin Trial Judges Assn., and the Justinian Society of Lawyers. 

Dennis was very civic oriented and among other organizations he was involved with the Big Brothers. He also was a longtime Rotarian and had served as president of the Downtown Rotary Club. He served on the steering committee of the Business and Professional Coalition at Carthage College and served on the Advisory Board of Kids First Fund. He was proud of his Italian Heritage and was a member of the Italian-American Society of Kenosha and the Roma Lodge of Racine. He was a member of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection and had served as the church council president. He will be dearly missed. 

Surviving are his wife, Joan; children, Rebecca Barry (Dr. Derek) Olson, Kevin Barry; sister, Barbara Barry (Jeff) Fries; sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Judy McMahon, David (Diane) McCallum; nephews, Craig A. Fries, Barry N. Fries, Daniel McCallum and Rob McMahon; other relatives and dear friends. 

Services will be private. Memorials/cards may be directed in care of Maresh-Meredith and Acklam Funeral Home. 

803 Main St., Racine   (262) 634-7888

11/15/13 12:00 PM #2    

Francie McGuire (Winkler)

Our friendship really grew years after Park when dennis was a judge and I the executive directer of a local non-profit working to prevent alcohol and drug abuse. Dennis was a great supporter of our work and of many other non- profit agencies. Years ago he began ordering fines from people who had been arrested to the appropriate agency. Dennis directed thousands of dollars to well over twenty non-profits for a number of years. He had to "buck the system" to do this and was the only Racine judge to do so. He truly made a positive difference in Racine in many ways. I miss him a great deal!

11/16/13 08:53 AM #3    

Joanne Foldy (Williams)

Dennis was very concerned about the well-being of youth and was involved as a mentor to several of the troubled youth who went through his court system.  I remember meeting him at the funeral for the mother of one of these kids.  I was impressed, but not surprised, to see him there offering emotional support to the grieving young man.   Dennis was a person of great integrity who loved his community and served it well.  Racine is poorer for his passing.

Joannie (Foldy) Williams


11/16/13 04:37 PM #4    

Eric Guttenberg

Dennis was my boss in the District Attorney's Office in Racine and later the Judge I appeared before

on many cases. He did a great job in both capacities but he seemed to find his greatest satisfaction as

Circuit Court Judge where he demanded from parties and attorneys alike an acceptance of personal

responsibility,  He had no patience for those who took no responsibility for their actions but had compassion

for people who needed a helping hand and he always acted accordingly.

His death was a shock to all of us that knew him. He seemed to have so much to live for. I will never



01/27/14 04:20 PM #5    

Charles Carothers

I'll miss Dennis' smiling, friendly face at our 50th reunion.  We had many Park classes together and played on the same intramural basketball team.  I'd run into him now and then after graduation in my father's Thrifty Mac's Ace hardware store.  He touched many lives in a positive way and left us way too soon and sadly.

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