Barry Austin DeLong passed away on May 12th, 2023. Barry was born on June 11th, 1948, in Presque Isle Maine. He was very proud to be from Aroostook County, and would call Presque Isle, “God's country”. He married his high school sweetheart Connie-Jo (Ireland) DeLong on February 14th, 1970, where Barry and Connie were married for 41 years before Connie-Jo’s passing. They were blessed with two children, Flint and Carrie-Jo. He was a loyal and dedicated husband and father. He was a family man. Family meant everything to him.
Barry was a graduate of Presque Isle High School in 1967, where upon graduation he enrolled in Northern Maine Vocational Technical Institute for automotive, and graduated in 1970. He worked as a mechanic for 2 years before his career would take an unexpected twist. In 1973, Barry joined the Maine State Police, where he started as a dispatcher, progressing to later on be a Patrol Trooper, to then a Senior Detective. While working as a Senior Detective, Barry was a devoted child abuse investigator, and holds the record in New England for the most child abuse convictions. He had a love for children, and would have adopted them all if it had been possible. Barry retired from the Maine State Police in 1993, but knew his work was far from being finished, and due to the love of the people of Somerset County, he decided to run for Somerset Sheriff in 1994. Barry won the election and was declared High Sheriff where he served his role for 5 terms, holding the longest tenure of any Sheriff in county history. During his time as Sheriff, Barry oversaw many changes and advancements at the department, including the 2008 construction of the new $22 million correctional facility, designed to replace the old facility that had been built in 1895. Barry transformed every aspect of the department for the better, for the employees and the Somerset citizens. He was a smart businessman who always looked out for the taxpayer, kept business local to help his community. Barry retired in 2014, and was truly loved by the people.
Barry was an active citizen in his community, and belonged to many organizations throughout the years including President of Bingham Lions Club, Somerset Republican Party, National Police Association, National Sheriff’s Association, Maine State Retired Police, Commander Sons of American Legion #99, Eagles Club, and so many more.
Barry taught Webelo’s in Bingham, put together a softball team to get kids off the streets (huge success), helped to organize several parades (he loved parades), and volunteered at several functions for his community. Barry was the local counselor as well, not by trade but by his great advice that he would give. People trusted him because they knew he truly cared about them, even if he did not know you. He was a big believer in second chances and had full faith in people to turn their lives around, all they needed was a little help, and a bit of guidance. Most nights we would have people standing in our kitchen at dinner time needing help, and they always came first before his meal. He truly loved people and wanted them to succeed. Barry was also a huge animal lover, and adopted and rescued several animals throughout his life. His last love was Corky, a Jack Russell Terrier his daughter gave him. Corky was his protector and sidekick for 19 years, he loved her so much.
Barry was an awesome dad! Both Flint and Carrie-Jo had an amazing childhood, Barry made sure they went on yearly family vacations, and he always made them fun and interesting. He was very big on traditions and was a very sentimental dad. Our father taught us through the years; do not give up on something you believe in, live while you’re alive, love like there’s no tomorrow, be your true self, and never forget where you come from!
Barry was also an amazing grandfather who loved his two grandchildren Kennedi and Kobe. He always wanted the best for them, and would give them advice along the way to ensure they succeeded in life. Before his passing, the three of them had a very special and memorable day together, where they went for a long drive, talked, and laughed. He told them some of his usual stories, he had great stories! Even in his poor health, he never gave up who he was. He always knew how to get a laugh out of his grandchildren, telling us to, “Be good and behave yourself”, even though he never even behaved himself. He truly cared for his grandchildren.
Later in life, Barry met Suzanne Johnston who became Suzanne DeLong on August 25th, 2018. Barry and Suzanne celebrated their wedding ceremony on beautiful Mount Kineo in Greenville Maine, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Together, they enjoyed the love of the outdoors, going 4 wheeling, taking walks, and most of all gardening. Barry loved to plant and care for his gardens, he was always proud of them. Barry and Suzanne loved going for summer rides in his corvette, where there may have been a few drag racing moments here and there. They loved to travel and go on adventures, Florida being their absolute favorite destination spot. While together, the two of them were like teenagers, and it was awesome to see. Suzanne was a faithful, loving, caring wife, who adored and wrapped her love around Barry to the very end.
Barry was predeceased by his wife Connie-Jo DeLong, parents Harry and Lola Delong, and brother Roger DeLong. Barry is survived by his son Flint DeLong and wife Maureen of PA, daughter Carrie-Jo LeBlanc and husband Alain LeBlanc of Sidney, grandchildren Kennedi LeBlanc and Kobe LeBlanc of Sidney, and wife Suzanne DeLong of Madison, as well as her two children,Naomi and Bart Barnam . Barry also had some very special friends that he considered family that supported him until the very end, Matt Cooley, Conrad McNaughton, Mark Nickerson, Jeremy and Lisa Leal, and Milt Porter.
In lieu of flowers, we ask for donations to be made to the Somerset Humane Society in Skowhegan Maine to honor his love for animals.
"Special thanks to the ICU unit at the Augusta, Maine hospital, you all went above and beyond, thank you."
If you have a memory that is special, funny, work related, etc., with Barry, we would like you to be prepared to share this memory with all at his service.
There will be visiting hours on May 18th and 19th, 2023 from 4pm to 7pm, at Giberson’s Funeral Home in Madison, Maine. Funeral Service will be held at The Somerset Abbey in Madison, Maine at 2 pm Saturday May 20th, 2023.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Giberson Funeral Home and Cremation Services. To leave a condolence for the family and to view the online obituary, please visit www.gibersonfuneralhome.com
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