The Rev. Duran L. “Uncle Buck” DeBarr

The Rev. Duran L. “Uncle Buck” DeBarr, 87, of Gerry, N.Y., formerly of Follansbee and Wellsburg, W.Va., was led home by angels on Sunday morning, July 21, 2013, at Heritage Village, Gerry, N.Y.

You are now reading my obituary which says I am dead – don’t believe it for a moment for I am very much alive. In fact, I am more alive than I have ever been before.

Let me tell you my story.

I was born on Jan. 18, 1926, in Ten Mile, W.Va. I was the son of the late Alfred and Pearl (Hollen) DeBarr. I ran off with the love of my life, Anna Downs. We eloped and were married on Sept. 25, 1943. I lived my life always with heaven as my goal. I was ordained in the Free Methodist Church.

I was the pastor of the former Follansbee Free Methodist Church and the Avella Free Methodist Church.

I attended school at age of 40 and received my Bachelor of Arts in religion and philosophy from Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, N.Y. I was very proud to graduate with my youngest daughter, Josephine. I was listed as a Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities. I loved the school so much.

I began to work at Roberts Wesleyan College as the director of auxiliary services, retiring after 26 years of service. I was honored to have the 1982 yearbook dedicated to my service to Roberts Wesleyan College. I later became a bus driver with the Churchville School System. I celebrated a milestone with my wife, Anna, on Sept. 25, 1993, our 50 years of marriage. We had a wedding with my family members serving as wedding attendants. What a joyous day for my family.

I have been involved in the Free Methodist Denomination for 65 years. In addition to my ordination as a minister, I was ordained as an elder of the church. I am a member of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Free Methodist Church. I loved being in the church as an encourager to young people in their lives. I am a member of the Roberts Wesleyan College Raider Sports Club. In my retirement, my wife and I resided at Heritage Retirement Village, Gerry, N.Y. I loved watching sports on TV, playing board games, and attending events at Roberts Wesleyan College; but most of all, I devoted my life to my family and Christ.

In addition to my parents, my family in heaven are my two brothers: Ernest and Franklin “Chub” DeBarr; four dear sisters: Josephine Thompson, Audrey Tenney, Opal Maxine DeBarr and Cora Jean Strietenburger; and a son-in-law, Jack Leary.

I am survived by my loving wife of almost 70 years, Anna (Downs) DeBarr of Gerry, N.Y.; four devoted daughters: Janet Leary of Follansbee, W.Va., Judy (Ronald) Penrod of Follansbee, W.Va., Linda (Rich) Smith of Butler, Pa., and Josephine DeBarr of North Canton, Ohio; four caring grandchildren: John (Linda) Leary, Brian Richardson, Tim (Donna) Richardson and Cheryl Penrod; three cherished great-grandchildren: Johnna Leary, Meghan Richardson and Garrett Duran Richardson; and my numerous nieces and nephews.

I welcome my family and friends on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the James Funeral Home, 1245 Main St., Follansbee, W.Va., 304-527-1717, and again on Thursday, July 25, 2013, from noon until the funeral service at 1 p.m. at the Brooke Hills Free Methodist Church, 1340 Washington Pike, Wellsburg, W.Va., with my former pastor and dear friend, the Rev. Forrest States and the Rev. Bryce Grieco, officiating. My interment will follow at St. John Cemetery, Colliers, W.Va.

As a living legacy of my life, memorial contributions may be made to the DeBarr Athletic Scholarship, Roberts Wesleyan College, 2301 Westside Drive, Rochester, NY 14624.

I invite you to visit to share a condolence or stories with my family.

Only God can quiet our hearts and still our minds. In Christ all things are possible.