Barry Stephen Harsip

  • Born: May 22, 1951
  • Died: December 3, 2020
  • Location: Boxborough, Massachusetts

Concord Funeral Home

Director - Glenn D. Burlamachi, CFSP
74 Belknap St.
Concord, MA 01742

glennb@concordfuneral.com
Tel. (978) 369-3388

Tribute & Message From The Family


On December 3, 2020, Barry Stephen Harsip, 69, lost a brave and very painful battle with a terminal neurological disease. This tragic loss is exceptionally heartbreaking because of the number of lives he touched in such memorable and meaningful ways. His quick wit, unique sense of humor and generosity of spirit had an effortless way of bringing people together. Those who had the honor of knowing him would often say that they were better for having known him. As husband, father, brother, advocate, teammate, coach, mentor and friend he will be sorely missed.

He leaves his beloved wife Lisa DiMarco Harsip and adult children Adam and Jamie Harsip whom he cherished. He also leaves his sister Janice Harsip Hurwitz, brother Herbert F. Harsip, nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends, peers and acquaintances.

Barry grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, where he excelled athletically. He attended Brandeis University where he earned his B.A. with a major in Economics and a minor in Elementary Education. While at Brandeis his ultimate love was the game of soccer, which he had discovered as a child at Camp Frank A. Day. He was a defender on the men's soccer team from 1969-1972 where he rose to become a talented and invaluable player, to later become co-captain his senior year and was awarded the Morris Sepintuck Sportsmanship Award. In October of 2019, he was proud and honored to have been inducted into the Brandeis University Athletic Hall of Fame.

After graduating from Brandeis, Barry received a Master's Degree in Education and Counseling from Boston State University and would go on to receive his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School. He passed the Massachusetts bar in 1979 and was admitted to the Federal First Circuit Court of Appeals in 1980. Having begun his career as an associate in the law firm of White Inker, Aronson, Connely and Norton, he found his calling in family and matrimonial law. Barry was a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Middlesex County Bar Association, The Middlesex Massachusetts Council of Family Mediation, and was a lecturer for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. His professional associations included membership in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, where he was a fellow; the Massachusetts Family of Probate American Inn of Court; and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. He also served as an attorney for the A.R.C. Program (Attorneys Representing Children). His peers, the court, his clients, and even opposing counsel recognized and respected him for his brilliant mind, his knowledge of the law and most significantly his keen grasp of humanity. In an area of law where one is often dealing with people at their lowest and most vulnerable, he was known for resolving difficult and contentious situations with calmness and fairness. His ability to empathize with and understand the complexities of human relationships, along with his sense of values and ethics elevated his stature in the eyes of the Court.

Outside of his career, Barry was a great lover of travel and the outdoors. Some of his favorite adventures included a trip to Alaska with his brother and best friend, a Russian river cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow with his family, and vacation trips to Hawaii and St. Lucia with his wife. Barry visited Europe and the UK a number of times, and one of his most recent challenges was hiking Cinque Terre in Italy. A true highlight of Barry's life was his last trip to Israel and Jordan with his wife, Lisa. He would often say that it was a life-changing experience that helped him embrace his Judaism in a more complete and beautiful way. A constant in Barry's life was his commitment to staying active, which he was sure to do during all of these trips. Whether it was long walks around the river boat in Russia (which disappointingly did not have a fitness center) or hiking and biking volcanoes in Hawaii, a vacation was not complete without a way to stay active. As he put it, exercise was his therapy. At home, Barry was an avid mountain biker, kayaker, and cross country skier, rarely going a day without participating in one of those three activities.

Barry's commitment to athletics and activity, as well as his devotion to helping others, manifested itself in volunteering in community youth sports. It began with coaching his daughter's youth softball team, and grew from there. Where decades ago he saw a need for more opportunities for girls to participate in basketball, Barry founded the Acton-Boxborough Community Education girls' basketball league. This was one of his greatest achievements, and something he was extremely proud of. Barry organized teams and coached for many years. Long after his own children aged out of the school system, he coached girls' volleyball for the town's Community Education program. He often had the joy of watching the young players he taught grow in the sport and find success in their high school team careers. Barry loved organizing Boxborough's annual Minuteman Fifer's Day volleyball tournament, where he was well-known and adored by all.

A gathering and celebration of Barry's life will be held in the spring.

In lieu of flowers Barry requested donations made either to Southern Poverty Law Center (www.splcenter.org) or the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (www.ushmm.org).


Condolence & Memory Journal

Every day I remember Barry...... his optimism, enthusiasm, his sense of humor, his insatiable drive to remain physically active, and his constant caring for everyone he knew.

He maintained friendships in everything he did..... including multiple schools & colleges, businesses, neighbors, family & the general public. I can't remember a time that Barry was at odds with anyone, ever.

My love goes out to the Harsips & DiMarcos, who will always cherish the memories they shared with Barry.

Posted by Ilene Harsip - Family   September 11, 2021

Condolences to the Harsip family. I was relatively late to this sad news of his passing, and am only now getting around to saying how much I miss Barry. I only wish it were possible for me to learn more from him in this life. He was a model for me, in my field, and even in my community, as I am a family lawyer who happens to have lived in the two neighboring towns where he worked and lived. We had a number of cases as opposing lawyers, over the years, including a few very hotly contested ones, but I always loved to see Barry, whenever and wherever. I just knew he would manage to use humor to help everyone in the courthouse - or in the often cold meeting spaces of our world - to stop taking ourselves so seriously. He was always ready with a smile and a clever line. He seemed so real and so genuine, and very wise in the law and the facts, but also in the people behind them. He was also a wonderful man, in my community, helping to lead sports teams even after his own kids were graduated from high school. In both these ways - as a professional, and as a citizen of the community - he has been someone who inspired me. I'm sorry I feel I never got a chance to tell him that, and hope he somehow knew this. Rest in Peace, Barry.

Posted by Steven Ballard - Boxborough, MA - Neighbor   June 26, 2021

Barry was a great guy with a big heart. I met Barry when it was Graham and Harsip 24 years ago. I loved bantering with Barry and he loved and respected women very much. The way I learned about Barry's passing was I had a dream about him this morning 4-26-21 so I looked to see if there was an obituary, sad to say their was one. I called the office to give my condolences. If I didn't move to Plymouth, Ma I would have stayed friends with Barry and the office team. When Barry found out my dog died he and the office sent me a card. How sweet and thoughtful is that?
Barry you'll be missed by many! My condolences to Lisa and family.
Your friend Pamela Anelli 4-26-21

Posted by Pamela Anelli - Plymouth Ma, MA - Friend   April 26, 2021

My condolences to the Harsip family, and everyone from Graham & Harsip and Harsip & Stewart. I met Barry at Graham & Harsip law office. I have often thought of Barry remembering what a great person and legal advocate he was, and I was very sad to hear of his passing. Whenever I am in a legal forum I think of his example as he was wise, compassionate, and true. Barry was a very good and caring person and a very smart and ethical professional. He was a really great person. I hope he knew how much his kindness and consideration meant to those he helped. I hope I said thank you enough to Barry and everyone at Graham & Harsip and Harsip & Stewart. In sympathy and love from MaryAnn, Samantha, and Ken.

Posted by MaryAnn Samantha Kenneth    February 23, 2021

My condolences to the Harsip family, and everyone from Graham & Harsip and Harsip & Stewart.
I met Barry at Graham & Harsip law office. I have often thought of Barry remembering what a great person and legal advocate he was, and I was very sad to hear of his passing. Whenever I am in a legal forum I think of his example as he was wise, compassionate, and true. Barry was a very good and caring person and a very smart and ethical professional. He was a really great person. I hope he knew how much his kindness and consideration meant to those he helped. I hope I said thank you enough to Barry and everyone at Graham & Harsip and Harsip & Stewart. In sympathy and love from MaryAnn, Samantha, and Ken.

Posted by MaryAnn Samantha Kenneth    February 23, 2021

Love of family, friendship and laughter... Just a few of the joys that Barry brought to many... Always with us.

Posted by Tom Graves - Friend   February 21, 2021

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Barry. I just received the news along with Courtney and Macy from Jerry's barber shop where Nancy Courtney and myself(Cindi)enjoyed many funny stories and jokes as we all had turns cutting Barry's hair. He is sadly missed

Posted by Cindi Lefebvre - Pepperell, MA - Acquaintance   January 29, 2021

It's no wonder that I'll never forget Barry even though I only spent a few hours with him. That is the kind of person he was, making lasting impressions on people, no matter how small the opportunity was. In the short time we spent together, we talked about business, philosophy, sports, history, trips, paintings, and, of course, he told a few stories. He was truly special. I wish the very best to his family.

Posted by Balint Gyimesi - Chelmsford, MA - Acquaintance   January 10, 2021

Barry was an inspiration to everyone he touched. It was always such a pleasure working with him on a case or a project like making access to court more feasible for the people in this neck of Middlesex County. His smile and his laugh were so contagious. He brightened your day every time you saw him. As a funny note, on of my fondest memories of Barry took place years ago when I ran into him at the Concord Probate session in the attorney conference room area. He gave me a big hello and told the other lawyers that were nearby that I had "The best smelling office around." Everyone started laughing and he said, "No, No, she always has yankee candles burning." He will be sorely missed by all who new him and I extend my condolences to the Harsip family and all who were close to him.

Posted by Sheila Harrington - Groton, MA - Friend   January 09, 2021

Barry was a kind soul. I was saddened by his passing. I was grateful for his support of our divided family.

Posted by Amory Wakefield - Lexington, MA - Acquaintance   December 31, 2020

Barry was my divorce attorney. Without him, I would have never survived it as I was traumatized by the situation. I was a nervous wreck! Barry’s guidance , sweetness and dorky sense of humor got me through it. I will always be grateful to him for that. He always spoke about his wonderful family and how he loved them so. Thank you for allowing us to share him with you!

Posted by Kathleen Shirley - Friend   December 28, 2020

Barry was a truly wonderful person - kind, funny, loving, a trusted colleague and friend. My sympathies to his family and friends, having Barry in our lives was a joy that will be deeply missed.

Posted by KAREN LEVITT - CHELMSFORD, MA   December 22, 2020

I knew Barry before I knew Barry. I played against him, and he was a real force to be reckoned with. He was always trash talking and making jokes keeping things light hearted. I would register my teams with him for Fifer's Fair and help him put up their nets. I never played against him at Fifer's because he was in the Elite class. I got to know Barry in 2004 when Jamie, his daughter, was on the inaugural freshman volleyball team. In the off-season he arranged for gym space for the kids to play pickup games at Blanchard. That winter he coached Jamie's volleyball team at CMASS and asked me to be his assistant. From that time on he and I coached middle school and junior kids four seasons a year until his passing.
When Barry coached, he had to be on the court interacting with the players. He was not one to coach from the sideline. He thrived on being physically involved, and so did the players. Whenever we'd split the players into groups, Barry's group was always the largest by far. They loved learning from him. He made it fun. He had so many cute and clever demonstrations for the skills that helped reinforced what he was teaching. Whenever I would ask him if he were available for something, he'd always reply, I'll have to check with Lisa first. I thought this was just his way out if he didn't want to be available. But no, it was important that Lisa be involved in his decision. I always admired Barry for this. Whenever Barry was at an ABRHS volleyball game, he'd make a point to talk to all the kids that came through his classes. Also he knew most everyone in the gym, too, and would chat with them. At the games he and Mark Starr would discuss the games making it a very interesting evening for me to say the least.
Barry, I miss you. Buddy, you were my friend. Sadly, future generation will not benefit from knowing you.

Posted by Bob Hofeldt - Littleton, MA - Friend   December 22, 2020

I had the distinct pleasure of working with Barry prior to his retirement. I truly enjoyed working towards an amicable resolution on any family law matter with Barry. Barry was a true gentleman and he had an encyclopedic knowledge of the law; even when we disagreed! My deepest condolences to the Harsip family. Barry will be missed by many of his colleagues.
Robyn Briatico

Posted by Robyn A. Briatico    December 21, 2020

Barry was a wonderful contributor to Concord-Carlisle Community Education, where he taught many workshops that helped people manage their affairs. He was a true pleasure to work with. We are grateful for his life.

Posted by Court Booth - Concord, MA - Acquaintance   December 21, 2020

I am very sorry to hear of Barry's loss. I have know Barry for more than 20 years. We played volleyball together. He also taught my son to play volleyball in the Acton middle school program. He loved coaching those kids.
Barry was Hilarious. He reminded us that he was the Natural Middle. I can't think of a kinder or more giving friend. I am better for having known Barry. My condolences to his family and friends.
Dan Nguyen

Posted by Dan Nguyen - westford, MA - Friend   December 21, 2020

Barry had the rare gift of being an outstanding professional and a truly kind humanitarian person. His stories brought such smiles and laughter; I could listen to him for hours. I feel fortunate to have known him, and am so sorry for this tragic loss. Sending warmest wishes to Lisa and the family.

Posted by Lucinda Wright - MA - Friend   December 21, 2020

I first met Barry 20 years ago while practicing law. Barry was the opposing party's new lawyer. He had filed a complaint to modify the terms of a divorce agreement that had been negotiated years earlier with his mentor Monroe Inker. My client and I were invited to his office in Acton for a 6 PM meeting on a brilliant summer's evening in the middle of July. My client journeyed from Nebraska for the event. As is the case with most meetings such as this, we arrived with a chip on our shoulders, filled with indignation that his client wished to revisit the settlement agreement. We expected the same from Barry, whom I had not previously met. He greeted us with his warm ear to ear smile and introduced himself, saying he was a lover and not a warrior. The effect was instantaneous. Having been disarmed, negotiations began in earnest, and two hours later everyone left his office with smiles and the satisfaction of having reached a fair agreement, such that the matter was never re-visited again. Barry and I were friends ever since, and whenever we met at the Probate Court he always made it a point to leave whatever business he had on hand, and engage me in hearty handshake and warm conversation. The news of his passing came to me today and I am saddened beyond words. Godspeed, Barry.

Posted by J. Verner Moore - Brookline, MA - Friend   December 21, 2020

My sincerest condolences to the Harsip family. I was so sad to hear that Barry passed away. I had know Barry for many many years. As a lawyer he and I would have cases against each other and when I was elevated to the bench Barry would be arguing cases and trials before me. He was the consummate professional. When working with him he always made me smile. I will cherish those days

Posted by Spencer Kagan - Marblehead, MA - Friend   December 20, 2020

I tried a case against Barry as a “first year” Assistant District Attorney in Concord. It was my first trial. He was incredibly patient with my inability to ask a non leading question, among other things, but never stopped advocating appropriately for his client. It was a difficult balancing of interests for him and he pulled it off beautifully. I cherished our friendship from that day on. His passing is such a huge loss to the bar as well as Our local community. He will be greatly missed. Bill Barrett

Posted by William Barrett - Friend   December 18, 2020

My sincere condolences to the Harsip family. Barry was a great lawyer and an even better friend. He will be sorely missed.

Posted by Bob Rivers - Wakefield, MA - Friend   December 18, 2020

I was at Brandeis at met Barry. Years later living in Acton, we renewed our acquaintance while we were coaching our respective children. During that time, I would reach out to Barry for legal advice. In each capacity, I saw a gentleman committed to family, his community and his profession. May his memory be a blessing.

Posted by Paul Linet - Freeport, ME - Friend   December 17, 2020

Barry was a dedicated and compassionate attorney. I worked with him on many cases over the years. He always advocated for his clients in a way that acknowledged the emotional needs of the family. I truly appreciated Barry’s dedication, his positive energy, and his desire for positive resolution of his cases. It was always a pleasure to work with him.

Posted by Jane Appell - Acquaintance   December 16, 2020

My initial reaction was shock when I learned about Barry's death, then a profound sense of loss. No matter how long it may have been since we last met, usually in court or a dinner meeting of the Academy, I was alway greeted by his broad grin. Worthy adversary and advocate, loyal friend, sincere about those matters that concerned him, he was a true mentsch. I will miss my friend and the joy that he would bring to a table of lawyers discussing their latest exploits. Barry was not embarassed to express his true love for his wife as well as his children, bringing his broad smile to a crescendo. May G-d bless you and keep you. May G-d have his countenance shine down on you and grant you peace.

Posted by Philip Byers - N. Andover, MA - Friend   December 16, 2020

To Janice and Herb I'm so sorry to learn about Barry's passing. He was a great teammate and player on the soccer field. He could run forever. Also a roommate in Oak Square and friend. I have wonderful memories of playing softball on Sundays at Cabot Field. He always had your back.

Posted by Harry Nesbitt - Natick, MA - Friend   December 14, 2020

When I was very new in the practice of family law, I had a tough case against Barry. Instead of using it as an opportunity to take advantage of and make a fool of a less-seasoned attorney, Barry demonstrated the true meaning of grace and civility, while continuing to be an advocate for his client. I was forever grateful to him. He set a high bar, one few attorneys meet and one I aspire to. Rest in peace, my friend.

Posted by Maureen Booth - Dunstable, MA - Friend   December 14, 2020

He was a lawyer`s lawyer...and great professional .

Posted by CHARLIE BARRETT - CONCORD, MA - Friend   December 14, 2020

Barry was always a pleasure to see in court. He always wore very humorous ties ! He made everyone he knew feel special. My condolences to the family.

Posted by Sheara Friend - Friend   December 14, 2020

Barry was a truly great guy- he genuinely wanted the best for everyone he met. I am sorry for your loss Harsip family.

Posted by Sharon Duquette - Boxborough, MA - Acquaintance   December 14, 2020

The obituary is well written & captures so much about Barry. Barry & I met over twenty years ago when we were "paired" to count votes by hand - done in those days. I always enjoyed running into him & we always had delightful exchanges, including quite recently seeing each other while dog walking. Rest in peace, my special friend. I know he will be missed by his family & so many in his extended community.

Posted by Alan Rohwer - Boxborough, MA - Friend   December 13, 2020

Barry touched my soul in ways few others could. I think he knew me so well because he cared about me. He cared about everyone. Now there is a hole in my life that can never be filled.

Posted by Dan Greenberg - North Reading, MA - Friend   December 13, 2020

Barry always had a smile and a positive comment. I especially liked his sense of humor and his stories dating all the way back to childhood in the 1960’s and his friendship with Mark Scheier.

Posted by Steve Levitsky - Acquaintance   December 13, 2020

I knew Barry professionally. He was a wonderful human being and a great lawyer. Never saw him without a smile on his face. One of my favorite lawyers at the Middlesex Probate and Family Court.

Posted by Dorothy Gibson - Boston, MA - Friend   December 13, 2020

Barry, you always had a cheerful smile and something positive to say. I especially enjoyed your comments about your friendship with Mark Scheier and your memories of experiences you shared with Mark all the way back to the 1960’s.
Rest In Peace.

Posted by Steven Levitsky - Acquaintance   December 13, 2020

Barry, you always had a cheerful smile and something positive to say. I especially enjoyed your comments about your friendship with Mark Scheier and your memories of experiences you shared with Mark all the way back to the 1960’s.
Rest In Peace.

Posted by Steve Levitsky - Acquaintance   December 13, 2020

Went to Brandeis with Barry and we were very close. Unfortunately, we drifted away from each other and lost contact. Only a couple of days ago I hooked up on zoom with two other close friends from Brandies and at the end of conversation I vowed to track down Barry and a couple other guys. Seeing this in the paper just 30 minutes ago was devastating. Barry was the best!

Posted by Fred Roach - Braintree, MA - Friend   December 13, 2020

Condolences to the Harsip Family

Posted by John DiPiano - Marblehead, MA - Coworker   December 13, 2020

Whenever I think of Barry, I remember laughter, talk of how he loved his family, and I remember stories. Lots of stories. How he could talk!! Never anything mean. Always witty, bright, cheerful, funny, and full of love for his dear wife and his children, and many, many friends.

He was the hub around which many spokes orbited: his family, old friends from high school and college, teammates from many soccer teams, bicycle and XC ski buddies, legal colleagues, and on and on. He touched them all with kindness and caring, and he brought them together.

Posted by David Goodman - Friend   December 12, 2020

Barry was my best friend and the brother I never had. I will miss him every day of my life.

Posted by Mark Scheier - Friend   December 12, 2020

Dear Barry,
You were the kindest, most caring best soul I had the honor to EVER meet. Please know you helped so many others in your time here. Best to you, my friend.

Posted by M. Wood - Friend   December 12, 2020

Barry guided me through one of the toughest events of my life. He will forever hold a special place in my heart. My condolences to his family, friends, and all members of Harsip- Stuart Law firm.

Posted by Amy Vogel - Acquaintance   December 11, 2020

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of Barry. I work in Middlesex probate court and he was always such a pleasant and happy person. He was so caring and was always very kind. Sending prayers and love to his family. My condolences to everyone. Anne Addonizio

Posted by Anne Addonizio - Lynnfield, MA - Acquaintance   December 11, 2020


Family Album


Community Photos

I knew Barry before I knew Barry. I played against him, and he was a real force to be reckoned with. He was always trash talking and making jokes keeping things light hearted. I would register my teams with him for Fifer’s Fair and help him put up their nets. I never played against him at Fifer’s because he was in the Elite class. I got to know Barry in 2004 when Jamie, his daughter, was on the inaugural freshman volleyball team. In the off-season he arranged for gym space for the kids to play pickup games at Blanchard. That winter he coached Jamie’s volleyball team at CMASS and asked me to be his assistant. From that time on he and I coached middle school and junior kids four seasons a year until his passing. When Barry coached, he had to be on the court interacting with the players. He was not one to coach from the sideline. He thrived on being physically involved, and so did the players. Whenever we’d split the players into groups, Barry’s group was always the