Duncan Aviation reports that Harry Barr, “friend to many and a vital company partner,” died at his home in Raymond, Nebraska, on July 1, 2020. Born in 1935 in Clarinda, Iowa, Barr and Duncan Aviation founder Donald Duncan shared not just a home town but also a passion for flying, and the two partnered in several business endeavors when Duncan purchased a Beechcraft distributorship in 1956.
“Harry was my godfather, and he was a fellow pilot who absolutely loved to fly, and he was my friend. He and my grandfather Donald originally founded Duncan Aviation together, and he was there for my father after Donald’s unexpected death,” Duncan Aviation Chairman Todd Duncan says. “He was a friend and mentor to people at Duncan Aviation for more than 60 years as well as throughout the aviation community. Harry never had a bad word to say about anyone, and I had the greatest respect and admiration for this man who lived his life so well and so fully. He will be terribly missed by all of those who knew and loved him.”
Duncan Aviation Chairman Emeritus J. Robert Duncan says that the stories about and with Harry will go on forever and ever. “He was, and is, a legend,” the elder Duncan says. “I first knew him as almost a big brother. He lived with our family for a while, taught me how to fly, and gave me my first flying job. The list goes on and on.”
Donald Duncan and Barr started Panhandle Aviation, a helicopter service company to support Boeing during the construction of the Atlas Missle sites in which Barr was in charge. The two also started an FBO in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Barr ran that.
“Harry was a natural pilot and athlete,” Duncan says. “His track record at Clarinda High School still stands (of which he was very proud). His handstands—on one hand—while drinking a beer are again, legendary.”
Duncan continues, “Harry could fly anything, and he did. His love for aviation—the equipment, the people, and the the places that aviation took him–Wow!”
For more on Harry Barr’s life, go to www.duncanaviation.aero.