James Barrett (Barry) Norman, 73, passed away peacefully on June 13, 2021. Barry was born on November 22, 1947 in Lexington, Kentucky. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the US Air Force and served as an aircraft mechanic in Vietnam. Shortly after discharge from the military, he moved to Arizona and called Chandler home for the next 51 years.
Barry was founder and owner of Chandler Tile and Stone. For over 30 years he took great pride in his craftsmanship, and many of his clients became lifelong friends.
He always had a passion for anything with an engine that went fast. Early in his adult life, this passion led him to his racing family whom he cherished dearly. Barry was recently honored for his racing career, and was inducted into The Arizona Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Barry was happiest making other people happy, which was evident in everything that he did. He was known for always being there for others, whether it be family or friends. But above all, his biggest joy was being the best Papa to his grandkids.
He was preceded in death by his parents James E. & Margaret T. (Brinson) and his wife of 43 years, Mary Jane (Collins). He is survived by his children Steve (and Becky) Han of Chandler AZ, Missy (and Dan) Klein of Dallas, TX and Terry (and Derry) Matheson of Guthrie Oklahoma, grandchildren; Saundra (and David), Shaina (and Dara), Kelan, Ryan, Elisa, Nate, Cara (and Morgan), Brianna, Colm, Maddy, and Kaley and four great-grandchildren; Aspen, Quinn, Pace and Ledger.
A celebration of Barry’s life will be on June 23, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. at Gilbert Memorial Park, 2100 E Queen Creek Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85297. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to Sunshine Acres Children’s Home 3405 N. Higley Rd. Mesa, AZ 85215
Barry, you will always be an Arizona Drag Racing Legend my friend. Thank you for always being you. RIP Good Sir!
God speed my friend. I have known you all of my adult life. We both loved drag racing and Suns basketball! We talked about it often.
I will miss you at our dinner with the Thompsons, those “widows and widowers” dinners.
Tell Mark hi for me!! I know how you will enjoy those bench racing sessions in heaven.
We were all so very shocked to hear of your loss of Barry. So many great memories of him, not only at the races but doing our floors & bathrooms & coming over, Santa, his laugh, all that curly thick hair. First time I saw him he was living with Norman Crawford & had a helmet on & it was flowing out the bottom. Little did I know he would become a long time friend that I would meet again through John & racing.
He was proud of his children & grandchildren, a hard worker & always professional, a good, kind man. May God bless & comfort you all now and may his memory bring you smiles.
I am so very sorry that such a kind and generous man has passed. Barry will be missed by so many people. His smile and humor was always evident as was his willingness to help others. He has left his family and friends too soon. My sincerest condolences to the family of whom he spoke often and with such fondness. You will be missed my friend.
With fond memories my friend,
Barry always had a smile and had nothing but good things to say and talk about. He would make a point to stop by and chat when picking up tile always leaving me laughing about something silly. My condolences go out to his family and friends.
Gods speed Barry. A truly great person with a wonderful sense of humor and passion for racing, which is how I met he and his buddy Mike Finley. The Norman and Finley Racing Team were regulars and were well know within the Tucson drag racing community They came to race and have fun during those early years of the 1970″s, and were appreciative of having a place to race and make friends. The memories of Barry his personality are alive and well. A good person his most certainly was.