Barry Francis Corn, 78, a 37-year resident of Ridgefield, CT, passed away on March 28, 2017, at Regional Hospice & Palliative Care in Danbury, CT, with his family by his side after a recent diagnosis of late stage cancer.
Born on May 17, 1938 and raised in Flushing, Queens, Barry was the son of the late Pauline Cohn Corn and the late Henry Corn. Always extremely bright, Barry skipped his senior year of high school and started college early. He graduated from Cornell University in 1959 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts after spending his junior year at the Paris Institute of Political Science in France. In 1963, Barry earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. Starting out as an Assistant Attorney General in Massachusetts under Elliot Richardson (later famous for the Watergate Scandal), Barry spent the majority of his legal career as an international lawyer. Fluent in four languages and conversant in several others, Barry handled legal affairs throughout the world for Xerox, Sheraton, SSMC, Inc. and Reckitt Benckiser. While traveling internationally, Barry purchased artwork and jewelry to sell locally, the entire proceeds of which he then donated to the charity Save the Children.
Known for his quick wit and ability to tell a joke, Barry became involved in community theater in the early 1980s and spent over 30 years acting, singing, shuffling (his version of dancing), directing and serving on local theater boards. Barry shared his love for the stage with his children by appropriately playing Bellamy in The Fantasticks to daughter Lili as Louisa, playing The General to daughter Rachel as Sarah Brown in Guys & Dolls, and acting in Ridgefield School of Dance performances with daughter Chu Chen. Favorite performances also included Herr Schultz in Cabaret and a hilarious portrayal of Mary Sunshine in Chicago at the Orleans Academy of Performing Arts, a theater community Barry loved working with during summers on Cape Cod.
After he retired from the law, Barry took great joy in teaching English as a Second Language at Western Regional Adult Continuing Education for over a decade. Truly invested in his students’ success, Barry created a new approach to teaching grammatical progression and wrote his own instruction manuals in multiple languages. Barry also enjoyed teaching Spanish and French at Ridgefield Adult Education.
Barry was also interested in local and national politics and regularly volunteered with the local Democratic Town Committee. He canvassed in Danbury and drove people without transportation to the polls to give them the chance to vote. A compassionate person who advocated for the humane treatment of animals, Barry created the Save the Deer Committee in Ridgefield to petition against allowing bow hunting on open land.
Each year, Barry looked forward to vacationing with the family in Eastham, MA. Many special memories were made taking long walks with the family dog, relaxing on the beach, attending concerts at the Chatham Bandstand, playing around with the inflatable boat, and swimming at the National Seashore.
Barry leaves behind his wife of almost 40 years, Cynthia Swenson Corn; his daughters Allegra Kavlich (James), Celina Corn (Roland), Lili Corn Ozarowski (Bernard), Rachel Corn, and Chu Chen Corn; and his grandsons, Conner Hires and Lochlan Feretti. His lessons, brilliance, and humor will continue to burn bright within the many people whose lives he touched. Barry was much loved and will be very missed.
A Celebration of Life for Barry with music, sharing of fond memories and refreshments will be held on April 30, 2017 at 2 pm at Ann’s Place, 80 Saw Mill Road, Danbury Connecticut, 06810. Friends, colleagues and students are welcome. As this is a celebration, there is no need to wear traditional black.
Memorial donations in Barry’s name may be made to Anne’s Place at the address above or online at http://www.annsplace.org/donate/.