Barry O. Gish (74), amazing husband, loving father, grandfather, and follower of Christ; passed away peacefully at his home in Peoria, AZ on November 14, 2023.
Barry was born on February 28, 1949, in Mahnomen, MN to Orville and Beryl Gish. When Barry was eleven, his father passed away and his mother married Andrew Wambach, who became a dearly- loved friend and dad. Growing up Barry enjoyed hunting and fishing with his close friends, the 4 musketeers. Upon graduation, Barry attended the University of MN and MSUM before enlisting in the US Army. Barry served bravely and saw active combat in the Vietnam War. After several months in the infantry, he became a radio operator assisting the commander in helicopter operations.
After returning home Barry attended and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in marketing. This is where he met the love of his life, Sharleen Black. Barry and Sharleen married in Red Wing, MN in 1971 and built their life together in Fargo, ND. In 1979, they came to know Christ as their Lord and Savior and have faithfully served Him together since that day. It was during this time that they welcomed their first daughter, Christina. They moved to Bemidji, MN to attend classes at Oak Hills Bible College, where they welcomed their second daughter, Kimberly.
Barry was passionate about his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He felt led to start the men's Bible Study Fellowship group in Fargo and to serve as a missionary with BSF in Mexico City. Upon returning to Fargo, he served as an executive pastor at Bethel Church, worked in leadership at many businesses, and resumed his consulting practice. Barry achieved great professional success throughout his career even earning the esteemed IBM Golden Circle Award and being inducted into the Pinnacle Hall of Fame. Barry loved serving and was always available to take a call, go out for lunch, or give advice. He was a respected businessman, trusted advisor, and enjoyed all his clients as friends. He worked hard at helping others, pointing them to Christ, and making people laugh. With all his success, Barry's greatest accomplishments were in his home - having raised two daughters and eleven grandchildren - all of whom are walking with Jesus. Barry never took credit for his accomplishments as he knew the Giver of all good things – even commissioning a ring that read, "Soli Deo Gloria" - Glory to God Alone.
Barry loved the Lord and his family above all things. This was evident as Barry would spend his time reading Scripture, studying the church reformers, and singing timeless hymns. There was no greater joy for Barry than spending time with his wife, daughters and sons-in-law, and grandchildren. Barry's family could reach him any hour of the day or night about any concern or just to visit. He was generous with his resources, time, wisdom, and love. His grandchildren affectionately called him "Boppa" and he had a special and meaningful relationship with each one of them. He loved to teach his grandchildren about the Gospel and manners. Barry was a proper gentleman and romantic; taking Shar on fancy dates, trips, and showering her with wonderful poems and gifts.
Barry's hobby was his family but in his spare time he enjoyed making friends, playing the guitar, singing, and fishing at the lake. He also loved carving with wood and making special projects for family members.
Barry's memory will forever be cherished by his loving and grateful wife, Shar, his daughters, son-in laws, and grandchildren. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Shar, daughters, Christina (Mike) Marren (North Oaks, MN); Kimberly (Tom) Schaaf (Peoria, AZ), and eleven precious grandchildren- Annabelle, Juliette, Joseph, Violette, AJ, Roselle, Analeese, Joshua, Matthew, Johnathan, and Hannah. He is survived by his brother Brent (Gayle) Gish, sisters Marilyn (Marv) Thelen, Tracy (Tony) Fox, Jacqueline (Gary) Foley, Nicole (Lee) Larson, and Beth (Bruce) Slette. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews, Aunt Vera, and Uncle Bob (Carol), and special friends over all the years.
God has given him a blessing and a heritage. He is already greatly missed, but his legacy of loving Jesus continues.
Funeral Service will be held at 11am, Tuesday November 21, 2023 at King of Kings Church 3095 N 140 Ave Goodyear, AZ, with visitation 30 minutes prior to the service.
Burial with military honors will be in Red Wing, MN at Oakwood Cemetery on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 at 1 p.m.