Virginia Marie Barry of Montauk, described by her family as “an accomplished tap dancer, sailor, and adventure seeker,” was active until the end, even attending the annual Jingle Bell Hop in Montauk just last month. “And the word was that she danced the night away,” her family wrote.
Mrs. Barry, who was 91 and went by Jeannie or Noona, died on Dec. 19 at home in Montauk. She was in good health and had been planning a trip to Colorado at the time of her death, her family said.
Mrs. Barry was born in Pittsburgh on Aug. 26, 1922, to Americo Vannucci and the former Aida Calise. When she was just a month old, her family moved back to the family farm in Lucca, in Italy’s Tuscany region, with her and her older brother, Victor. They later returned to the United States, living in Corona and Flushing, Queens.
She met her future husband, Clarence Barry, just before World War II. “He had enlisted in the Navy, and Virginia followed suit,” her family wrote. She joined the Navy Waves (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), and spent the war stateside. “She was very proud of having served her country,” her family wrote.
Some years ago, she flew with other World War II veterans aboard an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.
She and Mr. Barry were married after the war, on Aug. 12, 1950. They raised a daughter in Floral Park and Mattituck. The couple shared many interests, from sailing to traveling to flying, but “most of all family and friends.”
When Mr. Barry retired, they moved to Montauk, which had long been a favorite destination. Mrs. Barry was involved in the Montauk Community Theatre in the 1980s and ’90s. “She was a fantastic tap dancer and was thrilled to be able to dance again,” her family said. She was also a member of St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church and sang in the church choir.
Mrs. Barry is survived by her daughter, Kathleen Barry-Havlik of Montauk, two grandchildren, and a brother, Peter Vannucci of Northport, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Her husband died in 2002.
A service was held at St. Therese on Dec. 23, the Rev. Michael Rieder officiating. A military burial followed at Calverton National Cemetery. Her family is planning a memorial celebration in the summer.