Deborah Sue Barr


Deborah Sue Barr, age 69 of New Philadelphia, died Monday, June 3, 2019, in Aultman Hospital at Canton, following a brief illness.

Born in Twin City Hospital at Dennison on Feb. 18, 1950, Debbie was a daughter of the late Fred V. And Gloria A. Shaw Clay.

Debbie was a 1968 graduate of New Philadelphia High School and attended Kent State University Tuscarawas. It was during college where she met and ultimately married the love of her life, John H. Barr. On June 29, 1969, the couple wed and were looking forward to celebrating 50 years of marriage at the end of the month. Together the couple reared two sons and faithfully supported them in their music endeavors.

For many years the family’s faith was nurtured at Dover First Moravian Church, and they were active members of the choir for over 30 years.

Debbie served as the secretary for the New Philadelphia High School music department for 25 years and continued to support the Marching Quaker Band to this day in various ways. For her contributions to the community, Debbie was recognized by the Quaker Foundation and presented with the Award of Merit.

One of her biggest passions in life was helping others. Her tender, compassionate heart and listening ears were always available to anyone in need. She loved each student deeply and, no matter what, always said, “You know you will always be one of my kids.”

During marching band competitions and group contests, Debbie could be found putting her impeccable writing skills to use making custom pins. She and John also enjoyed selling various music-related clothing and collectables. She loved getting requests to showcase her calligraphy talents, which have been seen on thousands of wedding invitations and cards through the years.

Debbie even shared her skills at Buckeye Career Center, where she taught calligraphy classes. She also enjoyed teaching keyboarding and typing classes and served as a substitute teacher for Buckeye’s adult education program.

In addition to her husband of nearly 50 years, Debbie is survived by her two sons, Jonathan (Allison) Barr and Joshua Barr, both of Bakersfield, California; her grandchildren, Jordanne Barr, Aleck Barr, Kristian Barr, Jakob Barr and Matthew Barr; her sister, Lisa (Rich) Clay-Trimmer; her niece, Launie (Aaron) Tice; and her nephew, Kolin Trimmer, all of New Philadelphia; and countless beloved friends.

The family will greet guests on Friday, June 7 from 5-8 p.m. in the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory at New Philadelphia. A service celebrating Debbie’s life will be led by Pastor John Dunn in the funeral home’s chapel on Saturday, June 8 at 2:30 p.m. Burial will follow in the Gnadenhutten Clay Union Cemetery.

The family requests memorial contributions in Debbie’s name be directed to the Dover First Moravian Church music program, 319 N. Walnut St., Dover, OH 44622.

Those wishing to do so may send the family a personal condolence and light a candle in remembrance of Debbie by visiting the funeral home’s website at

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