Shortly after I sent out my May newsletter I received word that Mrs. Barr had passed away. I feel that I have lost a friend and mentor extraordinaire. I wanted to share this with all of you:
Jean Howard Barr
Jean Howard Barr, 89, died peacefully in her home May 8, 2009. She had sincere and loving caregivers, flowers, candles and Nat King Cole helping her make a graceful transition.
A long-time resident of Denver, Jean had a wonderful life. She was the proud matriarch of the Barr family and founder/CEO of JHB International, a Denver-based wholesale button distributor incorporated in 1969. She will be fondly remembered as “Mimi” to her grandchildren, “Mrs. Barr” by her loyal JHB employees and “The Button Queen” to people associated with her industry around the world.
Born and raised in Walpole, MA she went on to receive a degree from Brown University. She worked for Macy’s in New York City during the depression years, dancing to Frank Sinatra live at “The Rainbow Room” on weekends.
Jean married Jim Barr in 1943, the love of her life. They immediately moved to Denver, where she resided while he trained with the 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops and during his service in WWII. Together they had two wonderful children, Jay and Sandi. The family spent summers together at their magical cottage on a now 100-year-old family compound near Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
After starting her successful button business, she quickly became an icon in the sewing and crafting industry. She was a bold businesswoman, often traveling alone throughout Asia and Europe. She was a prestigious “Million Miler” with United Airlines and traveled the world over many times creating lasting relationships on both a personal and business level.
She was a lovely lady with a lot of spirit and a smile that could light up a room. She will be missed by everyone and remembered as a remarkable person who left a lasting impression. The family would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and prayers as we all say our goodbyes.
She is survived by her son, Jay, brother, John, grandchildren; Skip, Bill, Jordan, Krista and Andy, and great-grandchildren; Calli and Livie. She is preceded in death by her daughter, Sandi, husband, Jim and brother, Bob.
Services will be held at the Fairmount Mortuary Chapel on Saturday, May 16th at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers we ask that those so inclined make a donation to a charity of choice.