BARRY DONNELL WASHINGTON, SR. was born on May 11, 1951 in Greenville, Mississippi. He was the third child of five children born to Roxceola and James Washington. Like many other African-Americans living in the South during that time, the Washington family wanted to relocate in search of a new and better life. In 1955, the Washingtons moved to San Diego, California, where he attended Emerson, Horton, Gompers, and Lincoln High School. The Washington family joined Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, where Barry was baptized at the age of 6 by the late Reverend C. Johnson. He loved attending Sunday School and singing in the children’s choir. He was raised in a Christian home. Barry was a true mama’s boy.
At the age of twelve his father taught him the fundamentals of construction and carpentry. He worked with his father as a plasterer / cement finisher after school and on some weekends. He would later become employed with Convair and the San Diego Metropolitan Bus Company.
Barry, who was nicknamed “Smokey” due to his resemblance to Smokey Robinson. He was a great socializer and was well-liked by many. His love for people manifested in the form of a large circle of friends from all walks of life. He absolutely loved to make others laugh. He was known for telling funny jokes and pulling pranks on his family and friends.
He grew to become a confident, good-looking man. He had a keen sense of fashion and was a master of his own personal style. He had a dazzling smile and smooth voice that would melt your heart. He was a “people person and ladies’ man” who made friends everywhere he went. He had a love for cars, especially Cadillacs. He also enjoyed listening to music; “Oldies but Goodies”.
On August 30, 1975, Barry married his childhood friend and fellow Mt. Zion Baptist Church member, Linda “Lala” Buggs. To their union two beautiful children were born, Sherlonda and Barry, Jr. He loved his children dearly. They are the living legacy of the best aspects of his life and character. Like Barry, they have a Christian foundation, value high standards for a clean and organized environment, have large and influential social networks, and appreciate the beautiful things life has to offer.
In 1985, Barry relocated to Perris, California where he lived the remainder of his life. He helped out with the family business as a loving caregiver to adults and children who were disabled. He was a loyal friend who was protective of his family and friends, always checking the oil level and tire pressure when his loved ones would visit. He was a member of the O.G. Sandbox and made it a priority to attend the annual celebration every year in San Diego.
On Tuesday, July 9, 2017 at 8:27 P.M., Barry Donnell Washington received a call for a new assignment. It was an offer he couldn’t refuse. This assignment comes with a huge signing bonus, a reunion with family and friends he hasn’t seen in a long time and job security with eternal life benefits. His new mission takes him to a wonderful place where he will be socializing, telling jokes, and dressed to his heart’s content.
Music and love. On the other end of the call, God said, “Come home with me you have fought a good fight; no more pain and suffering. Well done thy good and faithful servant.”
He was preceded in death by both of his parents and his oldest brother, James.
Barry Donnell Washington, Sr. leaves to cherish his memory his two loving children, Sherlonda and Barry Jr.; one brother, Malford; three sisters, Janet Portlock (Charles), Yvonne Holcombe and half-sister, Valerie Goodman; one aunt, Azalee Cannon; one great aunt, Ethel Wright; his former wife and special friend, Linda “LaLa” Washington; a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and many friends.
Barry’s legacy is the memories and life lessons he leaves for us all.
From his life, we learn to live in gratitude, love others, and
to keep God at the center of our lives.
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