August 13, 1931 - August 27, 2016
Barry Dean Acord was born August 13, 1931, to Herbert Kenneth and Sophia Rose Wadsworth Acord in Houston, Texas. He graduated from Jeff Davis High School and earned both Petroleum and Mechanical Engineering degrees from the University of Houston. Barry was also chosen from students across the country to be part of the first class in a new Rocket Engineering program at the California Institute of Technology. For this, he received a Guggenheim Foundation award to cover his full tuition. Barry would later work at Bell Helicopter and Chance Vought Aircraft before joining his dad at Acord Tool & Supply, Inc. in Houston. Under his leadership as President, the company became very successful for over twenty-five years until 1985. After retiring from Acord Tool, Barry worked at NASA and in 1991 won a Project Team Achievement Award for his design of the control panel for the future first manned rocket ship to Mars.
Barry never met a stranger. He genuinely enjoyed everyone he met and had a special ability to make everyone laugh. Barry loved the outdoors, especially hiking and hunting in Colorado. He was gifted with a beautiful tenor voice and always sang in his church choir--often as a soloist--and in musical groups wherever he lived. Every year for many years Barry led homeless men in singing at the Star of Hope Mission in downtown Houston. He would do this on all the major holidays, including Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. Barry's Christian faith was very important to him and he served as a leader in whatever church he attended. He was a loving husband, proud father, and delighted in the many grandchildren and great grandchildren that he and Fran shared.
He is survived by his wife Frances Powell Acord of Athens; daughter Paula Acord Blackmon (Charles) of Houston; son Craig Wadsworth Acord of Union Valley; and daughter Laura Alison Acord (Christina) of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also survived by the mother of his children, Laverne Kring Acord, of Houston. Four stepdaughters Deborah Wiley (Graham) of Athens; Patti Wiley MacLeod (Doug) of Lomita, California; Melissa Wiley Sogar (Steve) of Coppell; and Priscilla Wiley Merimon of Athens, also survive him. Barry is also survived by his siblings Winnie May Acord Brower of Houston; Herbert Kenneth "Kent" Acord Jr. (Kitsie) of Wimberly; and Thomas Wadsworth "Tom" Acord (Nancy) of Hayward, California.
Barry has donated his body to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center for medical research. A memorial service will be held in his memory at the First Baptist Church of Athens on September 10, 2016, at 1 pm. His remains will be buried later at the Richland Cemetery in Mertens, Texas. For more information about Barry, please go to www.barryacord.com.
If you would like to make a donation in memory of Barry, the family suggests:
First Baptist Athens' Cool & Green Restoration, South Carroll Street, Athens, Texas 75751, and the Alzheimer's Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011, or online at www.alz.org.
Published on August 31, 2016