During a century of living, Charles L. “Charley” Barr has created quite a collection of memorable moments.
Charley added to that list on Jan. 6, celebrating his 100th birthday at Chapman Manor in Lutz.
He was surrounded by 36 family members – including his five children, seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and four nieces. Several spouses of his children and grandchildren were there, too, according to his daughter, Linda Cobbe, who shared details about the party and her dad’s life.
Besides family members who came from Florida, Oregon, Missouri and Indiana, many of Charley’s friends who live at Chapman Manor joined in to celebrate him hitting the big 1-0-0.
Charley was born on Jan. 6, 1924 in Bruceville, Indiana, to Charles H. and Alice Barr. He graduated from Bruceville High School in 1942.
He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, from 1943 to 1945, as a B24 navigator, stationed in England. He flew 24 bombing missions during World War II.
He received the Air Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal.
He held the rank of lieutenant colonel at the time of his discharge.
The family arranged to have WWII memorabilia on display at the party, including navigation maps from his bombing assignments, his medals, and photos.
Charley received a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in 1947. Besides being in the marching band, he was vice president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.
During college he met Helen Lenore Morris, and Charley and Helen were married in 1948.
They went on to have five children.
Charley’s work life included a stint at Studebaker from 1949 to 1952. Next, he purchased Barr’s Feed and Supply in Ossian, Indiana, which he ran from 1952 to 1958.
He was appointed clerk treasurer of Ossian in 1950 and never lost an election after that, serving in that role until 2004. He also owned an accounting business and retired from that in 1990.
Charley and Helen – who had been Florida snowbirds – moved permanently to Venice in 2004.
Helen died in 2011, and Charley has been living at Chapman Manor since 2017.
Published January 17,