Click here for funeral folder

Elsa Barry

Elsa Barry, 104, formerly of Bismarck, died on January 13, 2013, at Elm Crest Nursing Home in New Salem, ND.

Elsa Othelia Kutz was born to Adolf and Amelia (Boehlke) Kutz on Feb. 14, 1908, near Sykeston, ND. Elsa attended high school in Sykeston and worked at Corson's General Store. She enjoyed Saturday night dances, doing the Charleston, and riding in a Model-T. When she was 21, she went to Wisconsin to help her sister and then moved to Chicago. She met Theodore Barry on a blind date, and they married on Feb. 10, 1932. Elsa affectionately referred to her husband as Barry, and they were passionate about each other and their life together. They had two children, Sheila Lee and Theodore Ward (Ted) Barry Jr.

Elsa worked in a defense plant during World War II. In 1950, they moved to Elsa's home town of Sykeston, and leased a gas station/cafe called the Tree-O-Non. They moved to Carrington in 1952 where Theodore worked in sales, and Elsa worked at the Coast-to-Coast store. In 1956, they moved to Minot, ND, where Elsa worked at the S&L Department Store. Elsa was very active in the Lutheran Church and served as president of the Minot Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. She loved bowling and playing bridge. They retired in Coeur d' Alene, ID, in 1971. Theodore died 10 years later. Elsa lived independently in Coeur d’Alene and Bismarck well into her 90s, then moved to assisted living before spending her final years at Elm Crest.

Elsa’s family remembers her loving ways of making them all feel special. She was a classy lady, sharp dresser, great joke teller and loved to have a good time. She savored extra-dry vodka martinis and passed down many fabulous family recipes.

She is survived by her children, Sheila Polries, Bismarck, ND, and Ted Barry Jr. and his wife Betty, Fort Wayne, IN. Polries grandchildren: Linda (Charlie) Donlin, Bismarck; Julie (Lyndon) Larson, Mesa, AZ; Peggy (Mark) Anderson, Bismarck; Patti (Bruce) Penas, Fargo; Larry (Cessna ) Polries, Jamestown; David (Kim) Polries, Thompson; Jon (Steph) Polries, Sykeston; and Barry grandchildren: Theodore (Ted) W. Barry,III (Kim), Kendallville, IN; Brenda (Angelo) Spandrio, Sequim, WA; Timothy (Susan) Barry, Jasper, IN; Lisa Riecke, Fort Wayne, IN; Charles (Laura) Knox, Fort Wayne, IN; David (April) Knox, Leo, IN, as well as 36 great grandchildren and 21 great-great grandchildren.

Elsa was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Martha, Adelaide, and Mae; her brothers, Rudolf, Henry, Theodore, Carl, Arthur and Richard; and her husband Theodore.

FUNERAL SERVICES: Grace Lutheran Church, Carrington, ND

DATE AND TIME: Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:30AM

INTERMENT: Sykeston Cemetery, Sykeston, ND


Posted Condolences:


Name: Diane and Gary Allen

Date: Jan 21, 2013

Message: Ted, Sorry to read of your mother's death here, but, praise God, her life is full of joy now.  We think of you periodically, and of the sage counsel you shared with us.  The seeds you planted have, many of them, yielded a good harvest.  They have also been shared with others walking down our road. Praying for your comfort as you miss your mom.


Name: Luann Kiefel

Date: January 18, 2013

Message: God put Elsa on this earth to bless each and every one of us who knew her and loved her.She was a classy lady and always had a smile and a wonderful attitude in her life. She and Barry were a special pair and I will always treasure all the memories we made together. Love you all, Luann Kiefel


Name: Beverly Linafelter

Date: Jan 18 2013

Message: How sad it is to say goodbye to the last of that generation. Aunt Elsa was so special to all of the family. She was a joy to know and be with, even in her old age. I have many wonderful memories of her and Uncle Ted but mostly I remember them making a liile farm girl feel that she was a force in this world too. She will always be loved. Bev Linafelter


Name: Cindy & Mark Day

Date: 1/18/13

Message: Ted & Betty: sending our love, thoughts and prayers your way. your Mother lived life to the fullest. may you be comforted by your memories of a life well-lived.


Name: Judy Kroh

Date: January 17, 2013

Message: Dear Sheila and family, my heartfelt sympathy to all of you.  Elsa was a wonderful and memorable woman!  I thank God for the beautiful friendship she shared with my mother, Martha Kunkel at Elm Crest....I can see those two laughing and hugging as they are rejoined in Heaven!  May she rest in peace and may God comfort you in your loss.


Name: Anita Bornemann

Date: 01/17/2013

Message: Peggy - my condolences to your family on the loss of your grandmother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom at this time. Anita Bornemann