Richard Chalmers Barr was born Richard Gerock on August 11, 1934 in Ahoskie, North Carolina. In April 1935, he was moved to the Mayfield Children’s Home Orphanage in Camden, South Carolina where he was later adopted by George Samuel and Edna Nesmith Barr of Kingstree, South Carolina. At the age of 12, he left his home and lived alone in the storage shed of a local bed & breakfast where he provided housekeeping services and learned to repair broken furniture and equipment for income. Throughout his teen years, he worked multiple jobs to always have “walking around” money in his pocket. In the small town of Kingstree, he was recognized for his hard work by a local banker who recommended him to the owner of a building material business who hired him as an outside salesman to contractors. His work ethic earned the respect from his customers, especially from G.M. Bradham, a home builder in Manning, South Carolina, and in 1960 he married Sylvia, the daughter of G.M. and Dolly Bradham. His career in the building material business began at Campbell Lumber Company in Kingstree then to Shaw Lumber Company in Sumter, South Carolina. In 1969, he moved his family to Jacksonville, Florida to become the General Manager of Dawkins Building Materials, Inc. During his time in South Carolina and Florida, he served over twenty‐three years in the Army National Guard before retiring as a First Sergeant in 1973. His opportunity to lead and own a building material company came in 1972 when he became the President and owner of Adel Trading Company in Adel, Georgia. In 2000, after 28 years at Adel Trading Company and over 50 years in the lumber and building materials industry, he sold the business to Berkley (Mac) Mackey, a Valdosta business owner and descendent of Adel Trading Company’s founders (the J.N. Bray family). In 2000, he was elected Mayor of Adel and served until 2014. He was a self‐made man; an orphan, with no formal education, who became a successful business owner and Mayor.
On December 20, 2020 he left behind two children, Richard (Maia) Barr Jr. of Williamsburg, Virginia and Barry (Julie) Barr of Valdosta, Georgia, three grandchildren, Bradham (Lauren) Barr of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Alston Barr of Huntsville, Alabama, Levan (Ani) Anjaparidze of Staten Island, New York, three great‐grandchildren, Liza Anjaparidze (Levan & Ani), Bastian and Hudson Barr (Brad & Lauren), one beloved sister, Dolores (Ken) Russell of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and a lot of lucky dogs. He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Sylvia Bradham Barr.
Burial will be at Woodlawn City Cemetery in Adel at a private family celebration
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