Cullum No. 24395 • Dec 20, 1963 • Died in Washington,DC
Interred in Druid Ridge Cemetery, Baltimore, MD
Barry Lucius Gartrell was born in Baltimore, MD, on May 5, 1939. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs.
Charles Gartrell of Cherry Hill Road, Reistertown, MD.
Barry spent eight years at
McDonogh School in Reistertown, MD, and graduated as part of the Class of
1957. His classmates remember him as the unsung hero of the JV football
championship team. He was known as an expert farmer who consistently showcased
livestock at the local shows, but Barry’s real love and focus was lacrosse. He
played three years of varsity lacrosse and was named to the All-Maryland
lacrosse team. His McDonogh school yearbook predicted West Point or the Naval
Academy to follow graduation: It was correct.
Barry received an appointment to
West Point from Senator John Glenn and entered with the Class of 1961. Barry
was probably the most persistent man in our class. He spent five years getting
through West Point and graduated with the Class of 1962. Being a "Goat" and
facing five turn-out exams during that period, Barry was never quite sure that
graduation would happen.
Barry’s first love at West Point
also was lacrosse. Barry joined three other classmates, Tom Middaugh, Len
Butler, and Butch Darrell, on the team. At the time, all three were plebes, so
they took a real beating scrimmaging an improving Army team. As a goalie on
the lacrosse team, Barry joined his three classmates to act as cannon fodder
while teaching the finer points of lacrosse to three of Army’s better football
players: Bill Carpenter, Glen Adams, and Dick Buckner (all of whom went on to
earn All-American honors in lacrosse). Barry’s classmates mentioned above also
went on to play a significant roll on some of West Point’s best lacrosse
teams, finishing first, second, or third in the league during the three years
they played on the varsity. Barry’s playing time as back-up goalie became
limited. However, he never sulked or considered himself a victim. Barry was
always seen as an integral part of those teams, persevering as a permanent,
necessary, and vital fixture on the field. He sacrificed many hours at
lacrosse practice, in spite of the fact that he still needed to spend many
more hours in the books.
Barry loved West Point and his
many friends, and he appreciated the opportunity he was given. Barry’s
perseverance paid off, and he was delighted to graduate on Jun 6, 1962. His
branch choice was Field Artillery. After he completed the Field Artillery
Basic Course at Ft. Sill, OK, he attended Ranger school.
Barry fought his way through the
rigors of Ranger School during the winter. Again, he demonstrated his greatest
attribute—perseverance. As Barry’s Ranger buddy and classmate Rich Carlson
confirmed, "He was hampered by a fear of heights; yet, Barry never gave into
that fear. He learned to climb and repel with the best of us. And Barry’s most
endearing quality was that he could carry that heavy machine gun all day and
night." Barry received his Ranger Tab on Jan 30, 1963.
Barry’s first assignment in the
Army after Ranger School was in Germany. While there, Barry was injured in a
vehicle accident. He was flown to Walter Reid Hospital in serious condition.
He was released and sent back to Germany. However, he was soon returned to
Walter Reid since his condition had deteriorated. Tom Middaugh’s parents
visited him in the hospital before he died. They report that Barry had lost so
much weight that they were barely able to recognize him.
When the Class of 1962 was
developing the ’62 Room for the Arvin Gymnasium, a large poster featuring
signatures from all class members was delivered to Reisterstown to have
Barry’s father sign it for him. Growing up, Barry had lived near his lacrosse
teammate Butch Darrell, who taught school there for many years. Butch thinks
of his teammate every time he passes Barry’s old house in Reisterstown.
Barry loved West Point and his
many friends on and off the field. It is a sad irony that Barry would die so
soon after graduation without having a chance to experience the many blessings
that other classmates have had the privilege to enjoy. We all remember Barry
Gartrell and wonder where his perseverance might have taken him if the Lord
had given him a few more years. May he rest in peace.