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20080428 - Mrs Blanche Celestine Barry, 87

Buffalo News
4/28/2008, online

Mrs Blanche Celestine Barry, 87
Blanche C. Barry, swam with dolphins at age 87

Buffalo News, The (NY) - Monday, April 28, 2008

At age 87, sick with cancer and under hospice care, Blanche Celestine Barry, who had a lifelong passion for animals, became the oldest person to swim with dolphins at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla.

Mrs. Barry's splash with fame occurred in February at Discovery Cove, where she donned a wet suit and cavorted with Capricorn, SeaWorld's oldest dolphin at 40 -- double the life expectancy for dolphins.

This was one of many achievements for the former Blanche Schmidt, who lived a life rich with family, career and an insatiable quest to learn.

Mrs. Barry, of Lackawanna, died Thursday in the East Amherst home of her niece, Nancy King, after a long illness. She was 87.

Born in Cleveland, N.Y., Mrs. Barry graduated from Cleveland Union High School in 1935. In 1955, she married Eugene Barry, a Buffalo police officer assigned to the K-9 Corp. They never were lacking for company in their home -- especially "off-duty" German shepherd police dogs.

After the death of her husband in 1977, Mrs. Barry indulged her zest for learning, attending Bryant & Stratton Business Institute and taking English and history classes at Erie Community College well into her 70s.

In 1941, Mrs. Barry worked in sales of women's wear at the Wm. Hengerer Co. department store in downtown Buffalo.

She spent most of her working career -- 30 years -- as an accredited medical records technician at Mercy Hospital and retired in 1986.

Active in the community, Mrs. Barry volunteered for years as a docent at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens. She also was an avid supporter of the Sisters of Mercy, St. Ambrose Catholic Church, Our Lady of Victory Basilica and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Survivors include a sister, Margaret Sgroi, and a brother, and Robert Schmidt.

A memorial Mass will be scheduled in Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Lackawanna.

Date28 Apr 2008
File nameObituary - Blanche Celestine Barry
File Size
Linked toBlanche C. Schmidt (Death)

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