Cover photo for Barry H. Hunley's Obituary
Barry H. Hunley Profile Photo
1950 Barry 2022

Barry H. Hunley

April 26, 1950 — March 13, 2022

On Sunday, March 13, 2022, Barry Hershel Hunley of New Lenox, Illinois, drew his last breath and found a healing his earthly body could not reach. Surrounded by family, he passed peacefully after he quietly, but valiantly, fought against a rare form of cancer for his last 13 months. He was 71 years old and not nearly old enough.

He was welcomed into Heaven by his twin sons; his father, Hugh H. Hunley; his grandparents, J.L. and Vera Hunley, John Grindstaff, and Otis and Viola Martin; his parents-in-law, Leon and Gladys Walker; and various friends and family members. Maybe he even saw his beloved pups, Ginger and Harley.

Barry was born in Ada, Oklahoma on April 26, 1950 to Hugh and Betty Hunley (née Martin). They moved frequently in his childhood so Hugh could follow work as a pipe fitter, but Ada always remained their home base. The relationships he formed with his family there stayed strong regardless of time or distance.

When Barry was in junior high, his parents settled in Tinley Park, Illinois. Being able to grow roots, Barry developed lifelong friendships. We are particularly thankful to Willis Ray (Kathy), for not only being a great friend and his Best Man (and hilariously tagging along on the honeymoon), but also for his role in the shenanigans he and Barry got into five decades later that revealed Barry’s diagnoses; not just once, but twice.

After graduating from Orland Park’s Carl Sandburg High School in 1968, Barry attended East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. In September of 1969, he met the love of his life, Bobbie Hunley (née Walker). They were engaged the following Valentine’s Day, and then married on June 25, 1970. Barry spent the next 52 years trying to keep up with Bobbie.

He was generally a quiet man, which worked out well since Bobbie did enough talking for them both. She always kept his life interesting and helped him emerge from his shell whenever necessary. Their marriage served as a wonderful example of selfless, lifelong love to everyone around them, especially their children.

For the first few years, Barry and Bobbie lived near family in Ada. They then made their way up north and eventually landed in New Lenox, Illinois. He would call New Lenox home for the remainder of his life.

After the loss of their twins in 1979, Barry and Bobbie went on to have two more children: Leigh in 1981, and Stacy two years later. Parenthood was a wild ride from the start. These years (and mostly Leigh) may have made him question his life choices, but Barry did enjoy fatherhood. As the years passed, the relationships with his kids went from being one of responsibility to one of friendship. These bonds multiplied when Stacy married Rusty Layman in 2007, and when Leigh married (a different redheaded) Stacy (née Geiss) in 2010. As far as father-in-laws go, Buddy, as they called him, was one of the best.

His children will remember their dad for his wise and quiet nature, his habit of hiding sweets, how he would stand on his tiptoes in the back row while posing for family photos on Christmas Eve, and how often he would start a show of his choice just before walking out of the room for the remainder of it.

Raising quality humans earned Barry his greatest accomplishments: grandchildren. Of all the titles he acquired in his lifetime, his absolute favorite was that of PapaBear. He thoroughly delighted in his nine grandchildren, Kaya, Russ, Logan, Darby, Fenwick, Harper, Avi, Simeon, and Monroe, even if it meant handing over an iPad or watching three episodes of Blippi in a row.

As one can imagine, life wasn’t boring with so many little ones around. We wonder if he is finally getting to enjoy some peace and quiet. One thing we do know is that he would have adored his tenth grandbaby that’s set to arrive around his birthday.

With the passing of his father in 2002, Barry became the patriarch of the family. He took this responsibility seriously as he diligently cared for his mother, wife, children, and grandchildren with pride. We knew we could approach him with any request. Even when he had reservations, he would dive into research on our behalf to assure us the best method or quality.

For someone who chose world maps as the dominant decor choice in his house, Barry really was a natural homebody. He valued the ability to relax and recharge. He was a perfectionist and rarely made mistakes. So when he did make one, like the time he forgot to remove the cardboard from under a frozen pizza before placing it in the oven, we may or may not have teased him about it for years after.

He was a man who enjoyed shooting billiards, playing golf, learning through YouTube, and assembling jigsaw puzzles. After retiring as the Parts Manager at Terry’s Ford Lincoln Mercury in Peotone, Illinois, Barry happily took spontaneous road-trips with Bobbie, making sure to map out every Harley-Davidson dealership along the way so he could add a shirt to his collection. He was also known for mapping out dealerships at other destinations, asking the family to get him a shirt during their travels.

Bittersweetly, Barry’s last day on earth was also Bobbie’s 70th birthday. As his last gift to her, he gave her the reassurance that his suffering would continue no longer. He wasn’t always known for being the best gift-giver, so we suppose this was on par with the snowblower he gave her one Christmas.

Along with his wife, children, mother, and grandkids, Barry’s absence will be felt by his brother and sister-in-law, Danny and Cindy Hunley (née Yoder), his brother- and sister-in-law, Gailen and Cheryl Terry (née Walker), his nieces and nephews, his aunt and uncles, and his many cousins.

He was an amazing husband, father, son, Buddy, PapaBear, and friend. His memory will live on for years to come as we look back to his gentleness, kindness, and love.

As his final selfless act, Barry chose to donate his remains to Rush University Medical Center for cancer research with a desire to offer hope to those who follow in his shoes.

In an effort to create an event that Barry would have wanted to attend, a casual Celebration of Life Memorial Service will take place at Ridgewood Baptist Church in Joliet, Illinois on March 31, 2022 at 2:00pm. The family will be wearing Harley-Davidson t-shirts in honor of Barry’s extensive t-shirt collection. Those in attendance are encouraged to wear any black or orange shirts, or any motorcycle related clothing.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:10‬

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Ridgewood Baptist Church in Barry’s honor.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barry H. Hunley, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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