Dennis Wayne Barr

05/09/1940 — 06/05/2023

From Kennewick, WA | Born in Electric City, WA

Dennis Wayne Barr

Dennis W. Barr, 83, passed away in his home on June 5, 2023, in Kennewick, WA. He was born on May 9, 1940 in Electric City, WA, to Charles Barr and Marjorie Barr. Dennis graduated from Columbia High and attended WSU.  He worked for Boeing Computer Services for over 30 years as a Data Analyst.

Dennis, a mountain man, was best known for his nickname “The Grizz.” He loved American history and found great comfort and inspiration in the wilds of the mountains. Dennis was a founding member of Heritage Days at Sacajawea State Park. At local rendezvous, he would wear his homemade elk hide pants and a fringed coat joining his fellow trappers and mountain men, women and children for warm stories shared around campfires. He loved tinkering in his garage, creating beautiful leather pieces, turning pelts into museum worthy artifacts, building sturdy wooden boxes to hold his treasures, and designing beadwork that few could best.

Dennis was an avid reader and always talked of wanting to be a teacher. He may not have graduated with a formal teaching credential, but he was a gifted story teller who freely shared his time, knowledge and passion with family, friends, and strangers. He experienced great joy in sharing his crafted artifacts and mountain clothing with hundreds of children all across the Tri-Cities. He often said that he wanted to “give children a real feeling of history that they could touch and interact with, not just a page in a book.” He reveled in stories about his years as a football coach for his “Grid kids” and spoke of the happiness that experience gave him year after year, as he would meet past players years later.

As a family, we will miss hearing his beautiful tenor voice, seeing his smile and feeling his warm embrace. We are immensely grateful to his lifelong Bomber friends, his hunting buddies, his mountain man families, and his close neighbors and friends in Richland, West Richland and Canyon Lakes. The family wishes to give a special thank you to his dear Phoebe, the loving care and companionship of his caregivers and staff at Homecare Solutions, his Dr. Zuroske, and family Mike Greif and Dan Mantooth.

Dennis is survived by his children, Jill Barr (Rachel), Wendy Henderson (Lee), Brenda Thorton (Glenn), and Mike Atlee.  His grandchildren Jacob Strohman-Barr, Caitlin (Curtis), Tim (Paige), Rae (Elaine), Avery (Sam), Sawyer, Riley, and his great grandchildren – Eleanor, Gavin, and Arlo. Sisters Rebecca Barr Rupp, Marti Greif, Paulette Frase, and brother, Bob Petty.

Dennis was preceded in death by his spouse of 41 years, Julie, his father Charlie, his mother Marge and his sister, Nancy.

A celebration of life for Dennis will be held on Saturday, June 17 from 11:00-1:00 at Columbia Park across from the REACH Museum near the boat ramp.

Memorial donations can be made in Dennis’s name to the Humane Society or to the Sacajawea Interpretive Center.

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Dennis Wayne Barr

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  • I remember Dennis at Sacajawea Park, where the Mountain men rowed in to the park celebrating the landing of the Lewis&Clark expedition..our family was impressed by their authenticity.
    We remember his great sense of humor. And having a pet ferret.
    Rest in Peace.

    June 17, 2023
  • I am so sorry for your loss. Dennis and Julie will always have a special place in my heart! We had some great parties at their house on Thayer Ave in Richland. I drive past that house almost every day and remember them always.

    Sharon Mitchell
    June 16, 2023
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