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Norwood J. Barris (1924-2011)

December 27, 1924 – September 6, 2011

Norwood J. Barris, 86, of Park Avenue, Dunkirk, died Monday, September 5th, at the Chautauqua County Home. He was born in the Village of Forestville, on December 27, 1924, the son of the late Milton O. and Edna (Van Schoonhoven) Barris.

After he graduated from Forestville Central School, in 1942, he enlisted in the US Army, first joining the 75th Infantry Division, then the Army Specialized Training Program at Iowa State University. When ASTP was closed, to allow more manpower for the war in Europe, he went over-seas with the 97th Infantry Division as a Staff Sergeant and earned the Combat Infantry Badge & Bronze Star. The 97th was transported to the Pacific Theater in preparation for the invasion of Japan, then became part of the Army of Occupation.

After separation from the Army in 1946, benefits from the GI Bill allowed him to attend Rochester Institute of Technology, graduating in 1950. He then returned to the Dunkirk area to work for the former Bedford Products as Supervisor of Maintenance and remained with the company through the merger with the former Kraft Foods, retiring in 1986, when the plant closed. He was awarded the prestigious Kraft Jade Ring twice for his work on production and design projects.

In retirement, he followed his interest in genealogy by joining the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society, where he served many terms as an officer and was currently the Treasurer. Mr. Barris was a leader in many of the society’s projects and was instrumental in the publication of over one hundred books and CD’s, which were useful to researchers with roots in Chautauqua County. He was also a past member of the Dunkirk Board of Education, the Dunkirk Industrial Club and the First Methodist Church, Dunkirk.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Lois (Mahle) Barris, of Dunkirk, whom he married on June 15, 1946, in the Fredonia United Methodist Church, 2 sons, Bernard (Rosalind Vacanti) Barris, of San Antonio, TX, Richard Barris, of Canandaigua, NY, 3 daughters, Joan Johnson, of Columbus, OH, Mary Jane (William) Ackroyd, of Dryden, NY, Elisabeth (Richard) Regateiro, of Cocoa Beach, FL and a sister, Winifred E. Barris, of Pasco, WA. Also surviving are 7 grandchildren, Brian (Margaret Milman) Barris of Pasadena, CA, Kathleen (Patrick) Dideum of San Antonio, TX, Karen (Kris) Ostrowski, of Clovis, NM, Dennis Johnson (Danielle Langfield) of Poughkeepsie, NY, Adrienne Johnson of Washington, DC and David Logan and Kelly Logan, both of Cocoa Beach, FL and 4 great grandchildren, Rose Harriet and Irene Lois Barris, Jason Tyler Ostrowski and Charles Thomas Dideum. Besides his parents he was predeceased by a brother Milton O. Barris, Jr and by an infant sister, Roberta Barris.

Family members will greet friends at their home, 755 Park Avenue, Dunkirk on Thursday from 2-4 p.m. and on Friday from 2-4 p.m. Private Interment will be at the convenience of the family in Evergreen Lawn Cemetery, Town of Hanover. Arrangements are by Riles & Woolley Funeral Home, Forestville.

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