Barry Hartsfield passed away suddenly on July 24, at the age of 52 (just shy of his 53rd birthday), a heartbreaking loss for the countless people lucky enough to call him a friend or a family member.
Just about everybody in Montclair knew Barry. He grew up here, graduated from Montclair High in 1985, and knew there was no place else in the world that he’d want to raise his family. Barry was “Mr. Montclair,” and he never met a stranger. Whether you met him in high school, at a party, at school events for Nishuane or Hillside, or just around town he wanted to get to know you, share a laugh and a story and a beer, and talk about the future of the world and our children.
Barry was one of a kind, a warm-hearted, outspoken, loving, life force of a guy, easy to talk to and impossible not to love. He was the guy who always remembered to send you the photo he took of your kids, to make the call, to pay the compliment, to share the story he thought you’d love. Everyone who knew him has many stories of his kindness and love for his friends. And he was just plain FUN.
The only thing Barry loved more than his friends and Montclair was his family. He adored his wife Yolanda, and thought the sun rose and set on his ten-year-old son Julian. No father was ever more proud or more devoted. He always introduced his frequent Facebook posts about Julian’s latest track accomplishments, his outings with friends, or just how cute he looked waking up in the morning with the familiar introduction “My favorite fourth grader…” (Or whatever year in school Julian happened to be at the time.) “These are troubling times, but when I see Julian smiling with his friends, it eases the pain of all this ignorance and hate,” he wrote in a message to a friend.
Barry treasured every new milestone, every moment with Julian, and with this fundraiser, we hope to make life a little easier for him and his mom, and to let him know just how much his dad was loved and how much he loved him.
All funds will go to Barry’s wife, Yolanda Banner, to manage funeral expenses, to pay for Julian’s education and to give his family the bright future Barry dreamed of. We know how much Barry would appreciate this and we know he would have done the same for any of us.
Barry, we love you, and we will miss you so much.
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- Patrice Ruggieri
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- Lisa Bregman
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