Dr. Barry Towers, beloved husband, brother, uncle and friend of many, passed away on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at York Hospital.
Barry the eldest of two sons, born to Gertrude Leslie (DOB: 2/16/1909) and Dana Towers (DOB: 7/2/12) was born in Toledo, Ohio.
At the age of 14, his family moved to Pittsburgh, PA., where Barry graduated from West View High School. After high school he was accepted into a five year program that earned him a Bachelor’s Degree from Thiel College (1959) in Greenville, Pennsylvania, and a Master’s Degree in Forestry from Duke University (1961).
Barry continued his studies in forestry at Duke, earning his doctorate in forest pathology in 1965. While at Duke, Barry also met Jan, his wife, of 59 years. (Barry and Jan attended the same high school in West View, but they did not meet each other until their paths crossed at Duke University.) The couple married in August, 1963 in Pittsburgh.
The couple initially resided in Chapel Hill, N.C. where Barry conducted post graduate research on the effects of air pollution on N.C. forests. In 1968, Barry accepted a position as forest pathologist for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Loving the land and the out-of-doors, the couple purchased a farm in Biglerville, PA where they have resided for over 50 years. Barry, being the high energy, dependable fellow we have all come to know and love, managed their 110 acre farm while working full-time for the Bureau of Forestry. He raised a small beef herd, maintained several riding horses, and planted a large vegetable garden every year. His love of gardening led him to earn a certificate as a master gardener to support his hobby.
Over the years, Barry went on to become the Director of Pathology for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry. In addition to his professional work, Barry was an active participant in the community. He and Jan shared an interest in antique collecting as well as the history of the area.
He joined the Adams County Historical Society shortly after moving to Biglerville and managed the Architectural Salvage Warehouse for Historic Gettysburg Adams County Preservation Society, assisting others in accessing parts for restoring and building historical reproductions.
As a long-term member of the United Methodist Church of Gettysburg, Barry served on the Finance Committee and enjoyed singing in the choir. As a member of the Adams County Civic Chorus, Barry and Jan have enjoyed performing numerous concerts for the Gettysburg community. (They missed these community outlets terribly during the pandemic.) Barry also served on the Planning Committee for Butler Township for over 40 years.
Barry took early retirement from his position with the Bureau of Forestry, but his energy still needed an outlet. Consequently, he became the Administrative Assistant for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, assisting his wife with her speaking engagements at the national and international levels. He manned the AANP booth at regional and state meetings, became one of the organizations photographers, and served as the IT man for the organization.
He enjoyed gardening, farming, and hunting. He was an avid reader and enjoyed historical fiction and nonfiction; he was especially fond of westerns maintaining a collection of John Wayne films.
Family and friends describe Barry as thoughtful, dependable, willing to get involved, with a sweet tooth and love of fresh doughnuts!
Survived by his wife of 59 years, Dr. Jan Towers, who resides in Biglerville, PA; his brother Denny Towers and wife Jan of Vienna, VA; three nieces, Jody Towers of New Orleans, LA, Susanna Towers of Stewartville, NJ, and Kendra Denny Arey (daughter of Jeanne and Robert Denny) of Rockland, ME; and a great niece and great nephew, Samantha and Stephen Tallean of Stewartville, NJ.
A memorial service will take place on Saturday, December 12 at the Gettysburg United Methodist Church in Gettysburg, PA.
Viewing will begin at 1 p.m. and the service will begin at 2 p.m.
Graveside will follow the services at Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA.
All are invited to return to the Gettysburg United Methodist Church for light refreshments after the services for visitation with the family.
Donations are welcome to support your charity of choice, or you are encouraged to contribute to the Historic Gettysburg Adams County (HGAC) Preservation Society, the United Methodist Church of Gettysburg, or the scholarship fund of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) in his name.