The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


September 30, 2010

Jerald ‘Jerry’ Walter Barris Sr.

Trucking company owner was Mason, race car driver

---- — Jerald “Jerry” Walter Barris Sr. of West Middlesex passed away at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday (9-28-10) in Nugent Convalescent Home, Hermitage, after an extended illness. He was 79.

Mr. Barris was born June 15, 1931, in West Middlesex to Arnold L. Barris Sr. and Imogene Jeanette Drebert Barris.

Upon the early death of his mother, he was raised by his brother, Arnold Jr. and his wife Alyce.

Jerry married Mary Alice Adams on Aug. 16, 1952. She survives at the residence. He was a loving brother, husband, uncle, father and grandfather who will be dearly missed by all.

He graduated from West Middlesex High School in 1949 and was a Protestant, of the Methodist faith.

An Army veteran, Mr. Barris served in the Korean conflict, 8th Army, 45th Infantry, as a combat truck driver corporal, delivering materials to the front line for which he received several meritorious awards. Their troop motto was “Semper Anticus,” Always Forward. He was a member of the Screaming Eagles.

Jerry started work as a paperboy, delivering two Sunday papers, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Youngstown Vindicator. As a teenager, he worked at the family business, Barris Sunoco Service, pumping gas and shoveling house coal for Barris Coal and Lime.

He owned and operated trucks from 1960-75, working for C.D. Ambrosia, Yourga and Chadderton Trucking. For the past 32 years, he owned and operated, along with his son, Tiger, and his niece, Virginia, Arnold Barris Trucking Inc.

Jerry was a member of Free and Accepted Masons Kedron Lodge 389 in West Middlesex; Scottish Rite’s Valley of New Castle Consistory; and Zem Zem Shrine and the Jesters Court 58, both Erie. He was a former member of the West Middlesex Merchants Bowling League.

He was a race car driver, enjoyed dirt track racing at Pulaski Speedway and Sharon Speedway, and won the 100-lap Labor Day feature at Sharon Speedway in 1952, driving race car No. 32, a 1937 Ford Coupe. An avid NASCAR fan, his favorite driver was Jeff Gordon.

Jerry was a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and “Big Ben.” He enjoyed watching sports on Sunday afternoon with his wife or going with her on a Sunday afternoon drive.

His hobbies included hunting in Pennsylvania at Barris Big House, 5 Bees camp in Althorn and the family farm in Crawford County, as well as the Mick Family Homestead in Glenville, W.Va.

He loved playing euchre card games with family and friends.

Mr. Barris is survived by: his wife, Mary Alice Barris, at home; two daughters, Rebecca Lynn Rizzonelli and her husband Robert, Erie; and his caregiver, Barbara Joann Barris, at home; a son, Jerald W. “Tiger” Barris Jr., West Middlesex; five grandchildren, Jay Barris and his wife Jennifer; Tyler Barris; and Brandon, Jarrett and Jenna Rizzonelli; and several nephews, nieces, and great-nephews and -nieces.

Also surviving are two sisters, Hazel Vockroth, West Middlesex; and Imogene “Jeanie” Spurzem, Mesa, Ariz.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Arnold Barris Jr., William Barris Sr. and Robert Barris; and five sisters, Virginia Barris, Mildred Jean Bostaph, Cinderella Mae Dolan, Catherine Wallace and Nettie Belle Lawrence.

Memorial contributions may be made to West Middlesex All Sports Boosters, 3591 Sharon Road, West Middlesex, PA 16159; American Heart Association, 840 Southwestern Run Road, Youngstown, OH 44514; American Diabetes Association, Box 1131, Fairfax, VA 22038-1131; or to a charity of the donor’s choice.


Jerald Walter Sr., 79, West Middlesex.

Calling hours: Friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. today (9-29-10) in SMITH FUNERAL HOME, 3126 Main St., West Middlesex.

Service: Private funeral service will follow in the funeral home with the Rev. John Patterson, retired Methodist minister,  officiating.

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