My love
Barry Grote , The Great One
  • 71 years old
  • Date of birth: Oct 1, 1943
  • Place of birth:
    Pensacola, Florida, United States
  • Date of passing: Aug 28, 2015
  • Place of passing:
    Denver, Colorado, United States
May my heart be brave, my mind fierce, & my spirit free

The world lost Barry L, Grote, AKA ‘The Great One’, retired pilot, master woodworker, hunter, fisherman, contrarian, solver of the mysteries of the universe, master of sarcasm, riddler, engineer, generous spirit, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend to many left his earthly bodily containment after an extraordinarily courageus battle with cancer on August 28th, 2015. We will cherish the memories of Barry forever.

Barry was preceded in death by his beloved mother and father, Don and Phyllis Grote of Aberdeen, and survived by his beloved wife, Janice Grote, his daughers, Chaille Lemcke  (Craig) and Cheri Colter (Richard), grandaughers, Milena Lemcke, Aurora Colter & Chloe Colter. Barry is also survived by his beloved brothers Don, Randy, Brant, and Richard, & sisters Valerie, Laurie, Patsy and Pamela.

A narrative of The Great One can be found on the next tab under 'His Life'. Please feel free to share your own narratives, memories, & pictures!

A informal open house in Celebration of Barry's Life  gathering for family and friends will be held in Crystal Lake, IL on Friday, Oct. 2nd at D'Andrea's at 4:00 PM, and in Aberdeen SD on Friday, Oct. 9th at the Dakota Event Center at 4:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the following organizations that Barry supported:  Feed the Children ( St. Joseph Indian School ( and South Dakota Wildlife Federation (
Barry was also preceded in death by a few kitties:  Patches and Sylvester , of Crystal Lake Il,  & The Dooter of Denver, CO, Ming of Dallas, TX (cats and grandcat – debatable on the beloved part there), and survived by Monique, Yoyo, and Nijinsky 'Ninja' Colter (Dallas granddog & grandcats,  Mooshus & Ivan Lemcke ( Denver grandcats) – also questionable beloved ones but all cats and dog survivors of The Great One nonetheless.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by gordon milbrandt on 1st October 2016

"October 15 is the pheasant opener and is the third year of pheasant hunting without my buddy. We hunted together ever since the ninth grade. His birthday was also the first day of waterfowl hunting. So many great hunts, stories and memories. As our numbers dwindle I will do my utmost to carry on our tradition and relive the best of our times together."

This tribute was added by Janice Grote on 18th April 2016

"Thank you to the many family members and friends who have contributed to this memorial website for Barry.  I continue to read them over and over and hold your words close to my heart.  It's not too late to add your reflections of Barry in this memorial!  I cherish every word!  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!"

This tribute was added by Charles Stroh on 18th April 2016

"I am very late in receiving this news but don't want to miss expressing my sadness. Barry was a sweet soul."

This tribute was added by Pam Heileman on 4th October 2015

"What a beautiful celebration of life on Friday.  We are honored to have been able to be there to celebrate Barry's life.  We are so sad he is not here on Earth with his family and friends anymore, but so lucky to have known him, even a little.  He was always so welcoming into his home and so generous.  He was always someone you could count on for a smile and good cheer.  Robert and I didn't get to spend too much time with Barry, but will always remember him as a kind, generous, and happy man.  The world has truly lost a "great one.""

This tribute was added by Marian Palmer on 28th September 2015

"Sometimes there are just no words...That's when only prayer will do.
Please know you are in prayers and thoughts."

This tribute was added by Valerie Burckhard on 24th September 2015

"I’ve tried several times to write a tribute to my dear, handsome brother, Barry.  I can’t even get the  words out………..let alone look at his beautiful pictures……..… is incomprehensible to me that he is gone……..I know his suffering is over and he is with our beloved parents, our dear sister Connie and other family members in heaven, but it is so hard for us to bear this loss………you are truly missed, big bother…………now we patiently await the big Grote/Milbrandt reunion when we will all be together in Paradise………….until then, God Bless you, Barry"

This tribute was added by Charlie Johnson on 20th September 2015

"When I went to Simmons Jr. High in eighth grade, I met Barry and Gordy and three of us began a friendship that would last throughout our lives.  It's hard to pinpoint just one special memory I have of Barry because there were so many--rabbit hunting, fishing, hunting geese, and just shooting the breeze.  Barry was very clever and funny!  We shared a lot of laughs and fun times over the years, but there were also serious moments.  Barry was a lot of things:  devoted to his family, aviation instructor, pilot, and handyman.  These are all things to be admired, but he was something else as well--one of the best friends I have ever had and I will miss him more than I can say.  I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to Jan, Chaille, Cheri, and grandchildren.  My thoughts and prayers are with you."

This tribute was added by Mark Milbrandt on 19th September 2015

"I was extremely fortunate to get to know my cousin better these past years. We had some of the greatest times together. Fishing, hunting, and just hanging out.  A terrific person; will miss him a lot. God bless his memory."

This tribute was added by Chase Milbrandt on 16th September 2015

"Barry was always larger than life to me.  When I was just a little kid in Pierre, I couldn't wait for Barry to come over with all the cool stuff he was working on like hand-made fishing jigs and decoys.  It was absolutely the coolest that he was an airline pilot too! I can't believe he is no longer with us, but but glad he is with God now after such a difficult fight over the past several months.  Love, Chase"

This tribute was added by Renee Storm on 16th September 2015

"Rest in peace dear cousin and friend.  May you watch over all of us until the time when we meet again in Heaven.  Sending love your way.  God bless you and your family."

This tribute was added by Don Crace on 14th September 2015

"I had the pleasure of meeting Barry in Akaska on the annual hunting and fishing expedition.  I was invited by Gordo to experience Akaska and its unique pleasures.  One of the best things was meeting Barry.  He was always calm and in control.  I believe that is why he was such a great pilot.  I watched him take apart a shot gun, with a lot of pieces, to clean and lubricate the gun.  He actually got all the pieces back in the gun and it worked better than before he touched it.  His chuckle was unique.  He was truly unique.  He had a great perspective on almost everything.  He will be missed.  He can't be replaced just remembered."

This tribute was added by Laurie West on 12th September 2015

"Growing up, I didn't really know Barry, his being  "one of the older boys" but I stayed with him for awhile when Chaille was a baby.  i grew to know him as a generous and kind man, with a sense of humour that never quit.  One of the things I will always remember is Jan telling me that she and Barry sat down and agreed to treat each day full of love and never-ending. So I tribute this to Jan and Ba
rry, The Greatest Love story of all time. Love you big brother, you will be missed."

This tribute was added by Kathy Cohen on 12th September 2015

"I pray for your comfort and peace in this time of separation from Barry.  Also wanting to share a little something about him.  My name is Kathy Milbrandt Cohen and my father and mother were Melvin and Irene.  When we visited Grandma and would be at the house on the lake, we got to be with the cousins we never saw because we lived so far away in Pensacola, Fl.  I had always remembered the name Barry and the young man who owned it.  I thought he was sooooo handsome and loved the name.  So, when I had my second son, I named him Barry.  Having a large family like we do, it is hard to find a new name.  I chose Barry for my son's name and thought if he was half as handsome as cousin Barry, he would be all right.  There was something about cousin Barry that had stuck in my mind all these years.  God bless him and you and yours."

This tribute was added by Jerry Hauck on 10th September 2015

"I didn't have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Barry these past many years, seeing him now and then in Aberdeen during pheasant season. It was always a treat to be around him, to chuckle at his great sardonic humor, to exchange opinions on a variety of subjects, and to recognize and appreciate a fellow, true liberal among the den of conservatives comprising the peer group we hunted and argued with.

It was in 2009 that I first became aware of another side of Barry, the compassionate caring person hiding behind the intellect and impish grin. Shortly after having been diagnosed with blood cancer, I received a card from Barry encouraging and challenging me. This from a friend I had seen but a dozen times over 50 years. I suspect Barry would be the first to recognize the irony of that situation, me surviving my encounter with the evil malady and him succumbing. Here's to Barry,
a true friend and as fine a person as I have had the privilege to know."

This tribute was added by gordon milbrandt on 10th September 2015

"Barry was a first cousin, but truly a brother - some thought we were. Growing up on the same block we did it all together, our experiences will be with me forever.  Countless memories are indelibly etched in my mind. We shared time in college, both served in the Air Force, spent a few great years in Pierre, SD together and continued to be with each other throughout the years mainly enjoying our favorite activities of hunting and fishing. Throughout it all he was the same ol' Barry, very modest; you'd never know he was an Air Force instructor pilot and flew many different types of aircraft with Eastern and United Airlines. He was very calm, a deep thinker, problem solver and a gifted teacher with a great sense of humor. When I saw him right after surgery removing his eye, he said to me "Don't worry Gord and I can still out shoot you". He taught me a lot!  Beyond noted talents he could draw or sketch most anything, most notably Beetle Bailey and fighter aircraft. We shared life's ups and downs. He was a caring, wonderful family man and a true buddy. Without him the rest of my life will never be the same; I am having Don McLean's American Pie moment."

This tribute was added by Tracy Rudnickt on 9th September 2015

"My heart is broken! David and Tracy Rudnick"

This tribute was added by John Burckhard on 9th September 2015

"The love in your family is a tribute to God's love for us all.  Peace be with you Jan, Chaille and Cheri.  Our prayers are with you and Barry."

This tribute was added by Janice Grote on 9th September 2015

"Barry and I met and fell in love during our first year of college.  I didn't think I could ever love him more than the day we married in 1965, but after almost 50 yrs. of marriage, I discovered real love when I sat by his bedside as he tried so hard to fight cancer.  At the end of his life, he couldn't speak, but I told him over and over how much I loved him.  Sometimes he would mouth the words, "I love you, too" and that's when I discovered the meaning of true love.  He was the love of my life and my best friend for almost 50 years, and for that, I will be eternally grateful!"

This tribute was added by randy grote on 9th September 2015

"Pease be with you big brother in heaven.  My lifelong hero from the time we shared a bedroom with donnie., Thru your college years where I followed in your footsteps in civil enineering , thru your adult life where you always conducted yourself with dignity and compassion. To right now. Watch over us Barry, and God Bless you. Sending Love your way."

This tribute was added by Terry Buettner on 8th September 2015

"Barry and I seemed joined at the hip through his Air Force adventure.  We went to pilot training together, were instructors together, hunted ducks and deer together, toured breweries together, and watched our families bloom together.  We both had wicked, sarcastic, heartless wits, which were scorned by our wives and feared by our friends.  Most of our best memories are left untold, but were simple and joyful.  He loved his wife, and daughters with a sincere, unspoken passion.  Barry was a cynical optimist, in the best sense of the term.  He was a fighter right up until the end.  I would gladly have shared my remaining years with him.  
Time cannot erase what memories have made with this man."

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This memorial is administered by:

Janice Grote


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