William “Jerry” Barrington passed away November 7, 2018, just a few days shy of his 80th birthday.
Jerry was born on November 16, 1938 in Bright Star, Arkansas, to Ralph and Lola Bell (Lamar) Barrington. Jerry, as his friends called him, moved several times during his early childhood but eventually his family settled in Texas City, Texas. He filled his days with school, sports, fishing from the Texas City dike, and bicycling around town. He was also an avid baseball player. One story goes that, after begging his parents for a new baseball glove, they relented. When he got his new glove, he promptly left it at the baseball field to be never found again. That evening, on the radio, a contest was given, and the winning caller received a new glove. Jerry called in and won the glove. Apparently this trend continued, as Jerry was a bit of a rapscallion during his teens. Stories abound of his love of mischievousness including breaking a movie theater’s candy case while playing football inside the lobby, and of his penchant for getting others to partake in his pranks. After graduating from Texas City High School, he went on to receive his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M.
It was while Jerry was still a student at Texas A&M that he met Sharon Morene Howard, also of Texas City. The two married in a small ceremony on April 13, 1963. The two were blessed with three sons. One of his sons had medical issues. As a result, Jerry and Sharon became fierce fighters for educational reform related to special education. Jerry was tireless in his efforts to help his children. Whether that meant getting up early on the weekends to help his children deliver newspapers in the Delaware snow, or meant he dedicated countless hours to coaching his kids’ sports teams, he was always involved. Although there were few ‘big’ vacations, holidays and family gatherings were important in his life. Memorable trips included visits to Galveston, the Smoky Mountains, New York City and San Antonio.
Jerry was a Chemical Engineer for DuPont from 1963 to the late 1990s. During that time, he became a plant safety supervisor and won numerous awards for his safety efforts. Though disregarded by some in the current generation, he was loyal to his employer, first and always. Regardless of the time of day, he responded to any need at work and would routinely work 16-hour days. He valued and honored his commitment to DuPont, for they offered him a job when no one else did. He always remembered that. After retiring, Jerry became an international plant safety consultant and worked in Kuwait and Brazil, among other places. During one of his trips to Brazil, the group he was consulting with took him out to dinner. After dinner, he noticed that no one was trying to leave the restaurant, so he continued his conversations. After another hour passed, he asked one of his group mates why no one was leaving. They answered, that it was customary to wait for the guest to signal the end of the meal. So, Jerry promptly got up and walked out followed by everyone in his party. He said it was the longest meal he ever had to endure. When he tired of travel, he taught at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas before settling in to College Station in 2002.
Jerry had a huge personality and was always outgoing. He was gregarious and could work a room like a politician-but unlike most politicians he left people with a smile and a laugh. In his free time, Jerry enjoyed anything related to Texas A&M. He was an Aggie through and true. He embodied the Aggie motto each day and attended just about every sporting event offered in College Station while his health allowed. When the Aggies were not playing, he helped one of his sons by becoming an editor for his son’s company. Jerry loved to edit and seemed particularly happy when he could produce more edits than there were words in the original document. To this day, staff at his son’s company still use Jerry’s infamous phrase, “Confusion abounds.” He was a long-time member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Port Neches.
Jerry taught his sons well about how to hold true to ones’ values and beliefs, even in the face of opposition. He modeled to his sons how to have an amazing work ethic, how to be an outstanding husband and how to be a great father. He leaves behind his son and daughter-in-law Kyle and Beth Mae (Brinkmeyer) Barrington, his son and daughter-in-law William and Kristin (Walker) Barrington, and his grandchildren: Sara, Kathryn, Anna, Travis, Hunter and Mae Barrington. Preceding him in death were his beloved wife of fifty-five years, Sharon Morene Howard Barrington, his son Lance Barrington, his sister Sheila Ann Barrington, and his parents.
To honor Jerry’s life, his family has planned a visitation on Sunday, November 18 from 4-6 at Hillier Funeral Home of College Station. His funeral service will be Monday, November 19, 2018 at 1 PM at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 2425 Nall St. in Port Neches, followed by interment at Oak Bluff Cemetery in Port Neches. In lieu of flowers, Jerry would be honored if a donation was made in his name to either Hospice Brazos Valley or to the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Port Neches.