Published in the April 29, 2016 edition

James-Barr-obit-webWOBURN — James E. Barr, 88, a longtime resident of Woburn, passed away peacefully at the E.N. Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford on Tuesday, April 19.

James Barr was born in Worcester on May 21, 1927, one of three children of the late Thornton E. and Linda J. (DiGregorio) Barr. A graduate of Everett High School, Jim was raised in Everett and served his country with honor and pride during World War II in the United States Navy. Discharged as a Seaman, First Class, he served aboard the USS Topeka in the Asiatic Pacific and later in the Naval Reserves. On March 13, 1949, Jim married Wilma Miller and they settled in Woburn together to raise family of three daughters.

Mr. Barr graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He began working in the electrical engineering field while taking night classes to earn his MBA from Northeastern. Jim held positions in the business administration offices of General Radio in Concord and the Sturgeon Company in Needham. In the mid ‘70s, he also owned and operated a Radio Shack franchise.

Jim filled his life with a variety of interests. In his youth, he skied and played tennis, and later in life enjoyed a game of bocce and playing cards. As a licensed pilot, he enjoyed flying with his brother over New England. He was a faithful member of the First Congregational Church of Woburn, where he served as Deacon. Jim was a longtime and well respected member of the Wyoming Lodge AF&AM in Melrose where he was a 32nd Degree Mason.

One of his main passions in life was music and he had a strong interest and love for the pipe organ. He had an organ in his home, traveled to organ concerts and loved all types of music from opera to country western, classics from the ‘40s, and even Irish music. A good suit, cigar and some music and Jim was happy. With his engineering background, he could fix anything around the house and was always interested in the newest gadgets and technology. He had a love for learning and often found ways to satisfy his curious mind. He was an avid reader, learned Italian at the Woburn Senior Center and attended Toastmasters events regularly.

Jim was a source of strength for his family. He led by example, providing support for his family through his integrity and steady humble presence. Most of all, he enjoyed time spent together at family cookouts, holidays and celebrations. He will be lovingly remembered by his family and friends.

Mr. Barr was the beloved husband of the late Wilma M. (Miller) Barr, with whom he shared 40 years of marriage. He was the devoted father of Linda J. Oldham and her husband Gary of Woburn, Nancy J. Montgomery and her husband Tom of Melrose and Dawn M. Pepe and her husband Arthur of Woburn. He was the dear brother of Robert Barr of Alabama and the late Donald Barr and his surviving wife Loretta of Florida. He was the cherished grandfather of Michael Oldham, Heather Oldham, Jessica Carroll, Ashley Montgomery and Justin Pepe. He was the loving great-grandfather of Thomas, Riley and Graham. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends gathered in honor and remembrance of Jim during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Tuesday, April 26, and again for his Funeral Service celebrated on Wednesday, April 27. Interment with military honors by the U.S. Navy at Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody. Gifts in memory of Jim may be to Woburn Veterans Office, c/o Friends of Woburn Veterans, 144 School St., Woburn MA 01801. For more information, visit