Creighton Joseph Barry was a fighter every day of his life, which ended Feb. 9, 2013, after a long and arduous battle with Par-kinson’s disease.
Creighton was born on Aug. 11, 1945, in Butte to Richard “Dick” and Elizabeth “Alice” Barry, and was the fourth of five children. Creighton graduated from Butte Central, and then worked his way through college in the Butte mines. He loved his time at Montana Tech, where he played football with passion, earning the name “Crazy Creighton,” met the love of his life, Nancy, enjoyed good times with friends and family, and earned a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering.
Creighton and Nancy married in 1970 and had three children together: Stacie, Shawn and Heather. In 1983, they moved to Irvine, Calif., to further pursue Creighton’s engineering career. He worked for Arco International as a project manager for eight years before returning to Butte to bring his family closer to their roots. During his time in California, Creighton traveled the world, spending time in Iceland, Greenland, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Norway, England, France, Indonesia and China. He loved seeing other landscapes and cultures and always brought something home for his excited family.
Through these experiences, he took the time to appreciate the art, engineering, and architecture of the areas. Like the artist he most admired, Leonardo da Vinci, Creighton took care to develop the artistic and scientific components of his mind and urged his children to do the same. He loved it when he saw a piece of Butte in his travels, like the day he realized the Eifel Tower looked just like a gallows frame and called home to tell them about his discovery. It was this deep love of Butte that led him home in the late 1980s. He was truly happy to be back in his native town, where he spent many happy days with his family and friends.
He spent the next decade working at MSE, as a manager of the Mine Waste Program, which he deeply enjoyed, particularly when he was able to work with Montana Tech and its students in their affiliated research program, and when he worked on projects that found novel ways to remediate mine waste. He worked with a group in the Mine Waste Department that attained a patent for an in-situ groundwater treatment technology and he truly delighted in this project. He continued working in this position until the effects of Parkinson’s disease forced his retirement in 2000.
Creighton accomplished many things in his career, including being recognized at Montana Tech as a distinguished Alumnus, and being inducted into the Montana Tech football hall of fame. He loved his alma mater and greatly enjoyed attending Oredigger football games with friends and family. He was sharp-witted and sharply dressed, rarely leaving the house without adorning a tie and a sports jacket. He could always be counted on to be unique and do everything with style. He loved a good joke, looking at clouds, good art, chocolate, football, 50s music, milkshakes, politics, sunsets, flowers, Pink Panther movies, holidays, and telling the unbelievable stories of his world travels over a cup of coffee.
Creighton spent his final years at home being cared for by his loving wife with the help of Rocky Mountain Hospice. A heartfelt thank you and eternal gratitude goes to Stacy Doherty, his hospice nurse for the past three years. True to the spirit of his home town, he remained “Butte Tough” until his final days.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dick and Alice; and his brothers, Richard “Dick” and Michael “Mike.”
He is survived by his wife, Nancy, of 42 years; his children, Stacie Barry Peterson, Shawn Barry and Heather Snyder; sons-in-law Mark Peterson and RJ Snyder; daughter-in-law, Darcy Barry; his grandchildren, Tygan Barry, Maci Barry, and Jane Snyder; his brother; Ed Barry; and his sister, Marge Hoy. He is also survived by his father-in-law, Mel Mooney; and sisters and brothers-in-law, Susan and Ron Chatriand and family, Paula and Dan Riley and family, and Melanie Rosa and family.
Cremation has taken place, and a memorial service will be held at St. Ann’s on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 10 a.m., where Creighton and Nancy were married and all three of their children were baptized. Friends may call to pay their respects beginning at 9 a.m. The family requests that donations be made to Rocky Mountain Hospice or the Montana Tech Foundation.
Axelson Alternative Cremation is privileged to serve Creighton’s Family.