Published December 7, 2018
MELROSE — Barry L. Blackwell, 77, a longtime Melrose resident, passed away peacefully surrounded by the love of his family at home on Thursday, November 29, 2018.
Barry was born in Burlington, Vermont on March 21, 1941, one of two sons of the late Alice C. (Story) and Irving W. Blackwell. Raised on a dairy farm on the edge of Lake Champlain in North Hero, Vt., the importance of resourcefulness and self-reliance was instilled in Barry from an early age. He graduated from the Lyndon Institute where he excelled as a student-athlete while playing football and competing in track and field. He graduated from Dartmouth College, Class of 1963 and maintained lifelong friends with classmates from Alpha Theta fraternity. While at Dartmouth, he also joined ROTC and after graduating served his country honorably in the US Navy as a Lieutenant JG aboard the USS Saratoga. After meeting on a blind date, Barry married Alison Seidlitz on April 8, 1967, began a life together, and eventually settled in Melrose to raise a family of three children.
A manufacturer’s rep and entrepreneur, Barry established PDQ Sales with his dear friend and longtime business partner, George Gallagher, which they operated from Hingham. Hard working, intelligent and humble, Barry enjoyed his work, and finally retired after over 40 years.
An original Vermonter, Barry’s childhood roots were forever imprinted in his mind and spirit. Throughout his life, he returned with his family and passed along a deep connection to the Lake Champlain area that continues to this day. The farm served as host for numerous family gatherings, and as an outpost to enjoy boating, fishing, skiing and golfing with family. Barry had a love for the farm, and sharing that love with his children and grandchildren brought him much joy.
A history buff, Barry enjoyed reading, especially anything related to WWII. Proud of his life and family, Barry was always content and authentically himself. He loved a glass of Grant’s scotch whiskey, watching his grandchildren grow up, and cherished his wife and children. He will be deeply missed, but always lovingly remembered for his generous spirit and loyal heart.
Barry was the beloved husband of Alison (Seidlitz) with whom he shared over 51 years of marriage. Devoted father of Andrew S. Blackwell and his wife Michelle of Hingham, Sarah B. Sutera and her husband Mark of North Andover, and Alexandra S. “Sasha” Dawley and her husband Robert of Charlestown. Loving brother of Bruce Blackwell of Geneva, Switzerland and his wife Charlotte. Cherished “Grampy” of William, Alessandro, Luciano, Giovanni, Emma, and Madeline. Dear brother-in-law to Robert and Courtenay Williams and Katherine Seidlitz. Also loving uncle to Kimberly, Susanna, Tintin, and Marc.
Relatives and friends are invited to gather in celebration of Barry’s life for his funeral service at the First Congregational Church, 121 W. Foster St., Melrose on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 10 .am.
Gifts in memory of Barry may be made to support Genitourinary Cancer Research at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center under the direction of Dr. Richard J. Lee. Checks should be made out to Massachusetts General Hospital, c/o MGH Development Office, 125 Nashua St., Ste 540, Boston, MA 02114 with “In Memory of Barry Blackwell” in the memo. Gifts can also be made to the North Hero Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 132, North Hero, VT 05474. For online tribute, or directions visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com