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Barry Spector ’59

Barry and his partner

A lifelong Minneapolitan and travel professional, Barry was fluent in French, Spanish, and Italian, with a smattering of Russian and Japanese. He was a world traveler who also loved his hometown, and passed away in the home he had lived in for almost 70 years.

Barry adored his Lake Calhoun neighborhood, and was a dedicated gardener who posted a sign in his front yard encouraging passersby to “please stop and smell the roses.” He took great pleasure in preparing gourmet meals for friends and family, choosing recipes from the more than 50 countries he had visited.

He graduated from Southwest High School and attended Reed before transferring to the University of Minnesota, where he received a master’s degree in French. A lover of all things French, Barry also studied at the Sorbonne. One of his first jobs was as the Paris representative of a student travel company, organizing summer tours. He also taught English to native French speakers. In the ’70s he owned two retail stores in downtown Minneapolis, the Buckskin Leather Shop and Street Wear, but travel was his passion. One day in 1985, he was paging through the want ads and saw an ad for trip directors at BI Worldwide, a company that arranges incentive trips for corporate clients. He worked for BI for 28 years, leading approximately 500 trips to all corners of the world for groups as large as 3,500. One of his coworkers remembered that a frequently used Barryism was, “Take your time but make it snappy!” His last job was teaching English as a second language to professionals over the internet, which he loved. He is survived by his sister, Jill Evan Spector, and his longtime partner, Sara Ann Fagin.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2017

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