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July 16, 2019

6/4/2019 7:30:00 AM
Rev. Barry Whenal

The Reverend Barry Whenal, age 72, died Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center.  He was born Jan. 23, 1947 in Exeter, New Hampshire to John William and Hazel Lovett Whenal. He married Barbara E. Groth on Aug. 8, 1987.

 He is survived by his wife Barbara, stepson Jason Groth, sister-in-law Annette (Mike) Joneson, brothers-in-law Charles (Laura) Groth and Richard Groth, nieces Kathleen, Cheryl, Susan, Jennifer, Kimberly, Laurin and nephews Eric and Michael and cousins Lisa and Amy along with many friends.

 Barry was raised in North Hampton and attended primary and secondary schools there. He graduated in 1969 from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and earned a Masters of Divinity degree from Episcopal Theological School (now Episcopal Divinity School), Cambridge, Mass. in 1972. He was ordained to the Deaconate by the Right Reverend Charles Francis Hall, Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire on June 9, 1972 and to the Priesthood on Dec. 9, 1972 by the Right Reverend Francis W. Lickfield, Bishop of the Diocese of Quincy. He served as priest to parishes in Rock Island, Ill., Tomah, Mauston, Minocqua, Hartland, Stevens Point and Amherst in Wisconsin and the Adirondack Missions in Upstate New York. He retired from active ministry in January 2004 but continued to minister to parishes as needed until his time of death. He served as Associate Priest at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Salisbury. He served as the first chaplain to two Hospice Chapters, one in Minocqua and the other in Oconomowoc.  He was installed as an honorary canon of the Diocese of Fond du Lac by the Right Reverend Russell Jacobus on Sept. 16, 2008.  Bishop Jacobus stated, "This honor is given to you in recognition of the excellence of your priestly ministry and of your long and faithful service as priest of the Church in the Diocese of Fond du Lac. Loyalty, perseverance, sacrificial service and charity have been the marks of your ministry. You have honored your priestly vows and remained constant in your spiritual discipline and the love given to those who have been in your pastoral care."

 Barry had a lifelong passion for learning. After his retirement he embarked on a journey to learn foreign languages. He'd been studying Spanish, Romanian, Greek and French. He was instrumental in starting both Spanish and French chat groups on the campus of Trinity Oaks Retirement Community in Salisbury where he and his wife Barb live. He volunteered as a tutor at the Rowan County Literacy Council where the coordinator Laurel Harvey shared these thoughts, "Everyone here at the Literacy Council thought the world of Barry and he exemplified everything we could ever dream of in a tutor: skill, compassion, humor, creativity, and dedication. We will miss him deeply and so will his students."

Memorials to celebrate and honor Barry's life has been established to support the English Language Learner's Program and checks may be made payable to Rowan County Literacy Council, PO Box 95, Salisbury, NC 28145

 A Burial Eucharist and Committal will be held on Thursday, June 6 at 10 a.m. at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 131 W. Council Street, Salisbury. A reception will follow at Trinity Oaks.

Summersett Funeral Home is serving the Whenal family. Online condolences may be made at

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Article comment by: Paul Richmond

So sorry to hear of Barry's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. May God's grace be with you and your family and bring you comfort.

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