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Barry Louis Singer
Birth: Feb. 18, 1936
Death: Jun. 14, 1998
St. Louis County
Duluth News-Tribune (MN) - June 16, 1998
Deceased Name: BARRY SINGER LIBRARIAN, HISTORIAN
Barry Singer, 62, a local historian and scholar, died Sunday, June 14, 1998, in St. Luke's Hospital.
''He was the link between the past and the present,'' said friend Pete Nelson of Duluth. ''He knew all about the past and documented it.''
For years, Mr. Singer was a librarian at the Superior Public Library, in charge of adult services and the state archives. He was able to combine his interests and longtime involvement with the Douglas County Historical Society with his library work, to benefit both.
Mr. Singer, of Cumming Avenue, was born in Detroit, Mich., and had lived in Superior since 1979. He taught English literature at the University of Tel-Aviv, Israel from 1966 to 1969 where he met his wife, Sarah. He served in the Army during the Korean War, stationed in Germany. He was active in and associated with many organizations including the Chavurah, board of directors with the Fairlawn Museum, and the Melville Society of the Laurel and Hardy Club. He loved movies, sports, classic books, philosophy and the arts.
Barry was a writer, humorist, poet, actor, historian, and English professor. He was the Employee of the Year in 1991 of the city of Superior and was a public servant who enriched the community with his knowledge. He was dedicated to the study of history and used it to better the community in which he lived. His passion for books and his gift of speech touched the people of the Twin Ports area in many ways.
''He didn't want all the glory; he really was a modest person,'' said Mr. Singer's son, Jonathan. ''He taught us how to appreciate good things.''
Mr. Singer was active in the returning of the Pembina ship that was built in the Globe Shipyards of Superior.
For that project, Mr. Singer created a moving, three-part video on World War II shipbuilding. He gathered original photos, artifacts, interviewed shipworkers from that era who were still living.
Nelson, who installed the diesel engine on the Pembina in the 1940s, worked with Mr. Singer on the project.
''His narrations brought tears to my eyes,'' Nelson said. ''He was a very intellectual man, a very good historian. I can't say enough about Barry.''
''He was a kind and gentle man who did a beautiful thing by putting down the history of this shipbuilding era,'' said Nelson's daughter, Carol Maynard. ''He was the kind of man who has passion for what he believes in.''
Rachel Martin, Douglas County Historical Society executive director, recalled recruiting Mr. Singer in the 1980s for the ''Back in Time Players'' that recreated moments in history.
''He was a good one,'' she said. ''He portrayed an immigrant arriving in Duluth. He took his role very seriously. He researched it very thoroughly, as he did with everything. He was a scholar.''
He was on the historical society's board of trustees and was an active committee member until a few weeks ago. He often was an actor in murder mystery dinners at Fairlawn and portrayed Martin T. Pattison, the mansion's original owner and builder, many times.
''He was one of a kind, a unique person that not only benefited the lives of the people in the Twin Ports he came in contact with, but he was a valuable addition to humanity at any place, at any time,'' Martin said.
Surviving are his wife, Sarah R.; a daughter, Muriel Y. of New Britain, Conn.; two sons, Jonathan W. of Madison, Wis., and Daniel A. of Ann Arbor, Mich.
Services 2 p.m. Wednesday in Temple Israel Synagogue, Duluth. Burial will be in Temple Emanuel Cemetery. Arrangements by Bell Brothers Funeral Directors, Jarvi-Dowd Chapel, 925 E. 4th St.
Temple Emanuel Cemetery
St. Louis County