KENNETH JOSEPH "KEN" BARR AND
LOUISE KOCHANOWSKI-BARR FAMILY
Left to Right: Monica, Kenneth Joseph Barr, Louise Marie Kochanowski-Barr, Gary, and Richard
Kenneth Joseph Barr was born in 1934 Marshall, Missouri, Saline County, the same day as future US General Norman Schwarzkopf. He is the 6th of Robert Lee Barr and Frances Amelia "Millie" Weis-Barr's seven children.
Louise Marie Kochanowski-Barr was born in Independence, Missouri, in 1928, the same day as future US Senator-turned-Vice President Walter Mondale. Her parents Frank Kochanowski and Josephine Semik-Kochanowski had emigrated from Krakow, Poland.
Frank Kochanowski was born in Nebraska in 1887. He mined in Colorado for a few years, before settling in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, where he died in 1957.
Josephine Semik was born 3/14/1898 in Krakow, Poland. She immigrated to California without her family, and eventually settled in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, where she met and married Frank.
The two raised their six children in Excelsior Springs. Their second daughter Louise would marry Kenneth Barr in 1958.
The "Roaring 20's" were a colorful time in US history. In Louise's 1928 birth year, President Herbert Hoover defeated Democrat Al Smith, and Charles Lindbergh won the Medal of Honor for navigating the first Trans-Atlantic flight, a feat that Amelia Earhart would accomplish later that year as the first female aviator to do so. Also that year, GE opened the first television station, the ill-fated German dirigible Graf Zeppelin landed in Lakehurst, NJ, and the world's most important and famous mouse (Mickey) was born.
During Kenneth Barr's birth year, the eventful 1934, J. Edgar Hoover's Bureau of Investigation (later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation), found and shot dead Public Enemy #1 John Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde Barrow, Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd, & Lester J. Gillis, (also known as "Baby Face" Nelson). Also in 1943, the island of Alcatraz became a federal prison, President Roosevelt signed the Securities Exchange Act, (better known as "The New Deal"), the first Soap Box Derby was held in Dayton, OH, and Adolf Hitler became führer of Germany. The "Dust Bowl" scoured the Great Plains of topsoil for two days in May 1934, in one of the worst such storms of the Dust Bowl Era. The dust clouds blew all the way to cities in the east, such as Buffalo, Boston, New York City, and Washington, DC, then much of it was deposited into the Atlantic Ocean. Kenneth's mother "Millie" told him he was angel sent from heaven, as it rained for weeks following his birth, a huge relief during the drought era that plagued the 1930's.
These were the recovery years following the Great Depression. Louise Barr would share many stories of the Jesse James family who also hailed from Clay County in nearby Kearney, Missouri and were often seen in Excelsior Springs.
Kenneth grew up on a small farm near Slater, Missouri, with three brothers and three sisters before becoming a heavy construction equipment salesman, and would marry Louise in July, 1958. He was a Supply Sergeant in the US Army during the Korean War, and Louise was a Braniff Airlines stewardess at the time. They had their first children Monica and Gary in Atlanta, GA, then eventually settled in Shawnee, KS, where son Richard was born. The Barrs made their fortune with an automotive body repair shop, and in commercial real estate investments. Kenneth and Louise retired in Leawood, KS in the 1990's and enjoyed their retirement with many world travels.
Louise Marie Kochanowski-Barr would pass peacefully November 1st, 2012, in Leawood, KS, with Kenneth by her side. She is buried at Resurrection Cemetary in Lenexa, KS. Louise was survived by her husband, three children, seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Monica Lee Barr b. 1959. Atlanta, GA. m. Donald Peter 1985 Shawnee, KS. b. 1955 Great Bend, KS. Daughter Rachel Marie Peter b. 1990 Shawnee, KS.
Gary Vincent Barr b. 1960. Atlanta, GA. m. Theresa Ann Crompton-Barr 1995 Aurora, CO. Two Sons Chad Michael Clary and David Joseph Clary.
Richard Allen Barr b. 1962 Shawnee, KS. m. Linda Gaye-Gass. Four children: Toka, Tommy, Michael, and Bradley.
Ken & Louise would celebrate their 50th Anniversary July 19th, 2008.
Thanks so very much to our 50th Anniversary photographers