Family comes first

by Shannon Slater

At 71 years, old John Barry is not your typical grandfather of six.

(Photo: Kristin Kealy)

He is an extremely active grandfather attending sporting events, working full time, and spending time with his grandchildren.

Most of where he spends his time with his grandkids is at Sun Valley Camping ground in Stafford Springs, CT. Barry began camping there 39 years ago with his late wife Maryellen and their four children.

They started camping there when their fourth child was born because it was a seasonal campground and they wouldn’t have to move every two weeks during the summer time. Their site holds a special place in his heart as he shared it with Maryellen for most of their 47 years of marriage.

“It is important for me to spend time with my family at Sun Valley because it is a haven filled with countless happy memories,” said Stacey Slater, daughter of Barry.

This campsite became a huge part of the family’s summer traditions everything from teaching the grandkids to fish to golf cart rides around the campground.  Barry had continued these traditions with his grandkids to remember and honor Maryellen’s memories.

“Sun Valley is a place where our parents grew up; it’s a place where we can all come together to enjoy a sunny weekend or celebrate a summer holiday,” said Deanna Choma, granddaughter of Barry.

(Photo: Kristin Kealy)

Barry loves his grandchildren and always enjoys spending time with them, he cherishes that he gets to spend more time with them at Sun Valley because he can continue the traditions that he and his wife shared together.

Choma also stated, “Whenever we are there together the laughs never cease, and that’s why Sun Valley is a place where I love to spend my time.”


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