Mo Barry, a much-loved valley resident, died on Monday, March 8, 2010, thereby drawing to a close her nearly three-year journey with ovarian cancer. She was 54.
Mo was a woman of great passion and style. Even during her illness, she was always true to her signature look: red lipstick, brightly painted nails, high heels, fine perfume, beautiful clothing and classy jewelry. Her flair left its mark on people. Once, as she was checking in for surgery at Salt Lake City's Huntsman Cancer Center, the nurse stopped her questions midstream and said, "I have never before admitted anyone wearing red high heels and a tiara."
Mo was born in Glen Rock, N.J., but her family moved to Walnut Creek, Calif., and then on to Phoenix, Ariz. After receiving her undergraduate degree in marketing from Arizona State University, Mo relocated to the San Francisco Bay area. There, she attended night school at Golden Gate University, attaining an MBA. During this time, she met Dick Pomeroy and his children. A family decision to make a lifestyle change brought Mo to the Wood River Valley 20 years ago; it was here that her stepchildren, George Pomeroy and Susie Pomeroy Talbot, were raised.
Mo threw herself into valley life with her characteristic joie de vivre. She became involved in a variety of community organizations and projects, always with the goal of giving back and helping others. Mo served as president of three organizations most dear to her heart: the Ketchum-Sun Valley Chamber & Visitors Bureau, the Ketchum-Sun Valley Rotary Club and P.E.O. She was also a longtime member of Light on the Mountains Spiritual Center.
Mo spent the majority of these 20 years as a highly regarded insurance agent. She once said she "lived to work," especially appreciating how many wonderful people she met throughout her career. She saw her profession as another avenue for helping others.
Mo's passions didn't end when she left the office. With great gusto, Mo competed as a master swimmer. She was often seen hiking or cross-country skiing with her dogs. She traversed the world, quipping that travel was her "drug of choice." An accomplished cook, Mo loved to entertain, serving fine meals as a way of conveying her love to her friends.
Mo's friends were many, and a group of girlfriends became "Team Mo!" when Mo was diagnosed with cancer. With Mo as their leader, they spent endless hours talking about life lessons, doctors' reports, fashion trends and recipes. Mo's French "Rotary daughter," Aurelie Baranger, remained a dear friend years after staying in Mo's home as a Rotary exchange student. Mo was especially close to her sister, Susie Ackel, who played a major role in her well-being. Mo also received loving care and support from her team of doctors at the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City, as well as a group of dedicated local physicians, Hospice nurses and caregivers.
It was Mo's husband, Julio Chavez, who filled her heart with joy and love. Married on Dec. 17, 2008, Mo and Julio walked hand in hand, sharing life's journey with a deep and precious love.
Mo was affectionately called "Goddess of Zest" by one of her friends, and no one packed more living into a lifetime. Please help remember her and celebrate her legacy at a memorial service on Sunday, March 28, at 1 p.m. The celebration of Mo's life will be held in the Limelight Room, Sun Valley Inn.
Memorials in Mo's name may be made to the Hospice of the Wood River Valley, Box 4320, Ketchum, ID 83340 or the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley, Box 1496, Hailey, ID 83333.
Arrangements are under the care of the Wood River Chapel in Hailey. Messages for the family can be left at www.woodriverchapel.com.