“A Wonderful Overseer and a Dear Friend”
JOHN (JACK) BARR, who served as a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, finished his earthly course on Saturday morning, December 4, 2010. He was 97 years of age. He has been described as “a wonderful overseer and a dear friend.”
Brother Jack Barr was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, the youngest of three children. Both of his parents were of the anointed. Brother Barr often spoke with affection about his early family life; he was grateful for the sterling example that his beloved father and mother set for him.
As he entered his teenage years, young Jack began to find it extremely difficult to speak to strangers. However, he worked hard to overcome the problem, and on one Sunday afternoon in 1927, at the age of 14, he announced to his father that he was ready to accompany him in the door-to-door preaching activity. That was the beginning. From that day until his death, Brother Barr remained a zealous preacher of the good news.
A tragic accident that almost cost his dear mother her life caused young Jack to think seriously about the purpose of life, and in 1929 he dedicated himself to Jehovah, symbolizing his dedication at the first opportunity, in 1934. Then in 1939, he became a member of the Bethel family in London, England. Thus began a career of full-time service that spanned 71 years.
On October 29, 1960, Brother Barr entered what he called “an especially precious relationship” when he married Mildred Willett, a longtime zealous pioneer and missionary. Brother and Sister Barr were known as an exemplary, devoted married couple, and they remained such until Mildred finished her earthly course in October of 2004. Brother and Sister Barr read a portion of the Bible together every day of their married life.
For those who knew him, the name Jack Barr will bring to mind a man who gave thoughtful advice—always balanced, always kind, and rooted in Scripture. He was a hard worker and a considerate and loving overseer as well as a loyal friend. His comments, his talks, and his prayers revealed the depth of his spirituality and the closeness of his relationship with Jehovah.
While we will miss our dear Brother Barr, we rejoice with him in his receiving the gift of immortality—a privilege he looked forward to and often spoke about. It was all he ever wanted.—1 Cor. 15:53, 54.*
For the life story of John E. Barr, see The Watchtower of July 1, 1987, pages 26 to 31.