May 30, 2015

A Tribute to Gaylord Barr

Dear friends

With profound sadness I want to let you know that Gaylord Barr passed away this morning after a brief battle with cancer.

Gaylord Barr did not work at the border refugee camps, but those of us who passed through Galang or PRPC on our last leg of the journey to freedom might have been lucky to know him. His kindness, his gentle smile, his humility, his caring made us feel so special, so important about ourselves.

We the refugees are indebted forever to his kindness, to his caring for the underprivileged wherever he was. We can never say enough good things about Gaylord, nor words can describe it, but we all want to say, thank-you, Gaylord! We love you

And please let us celebrate your life.

A tribute to Gaylord from John Duffy:
I received word that Gaylord Barr passed peacefully this morning at home in the company of family and beloved friends. If you knew him, you knew Gaylord as a kind, generous, compassionate, and beautiful soul. When he listened to you, and he was always willing to listen, he made you feel you were the only person in the room, the only possible person on the planet. And his dry wit could leave you laughing so hard your sides hurt.

But those words do not capture Gaylord's passion for justice and his lifelong indignation at injustice. Wherever he lived, in Morocco, Indonesia, the Philippines, Roanoke, he was on the side of the less powerful, the refugees and immigrants. So many loved him, and he loved them back.

I will miss my friend but forever be thankful for the time we shared, and for all he taught me. Horseman, pass by.


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