National News

Hundreds attend memorial service for son of Mayor Barry

Posted August 1

— Hundreds gathered at a memorial service on Tuesday morning to rally around Mayor Megan Barry and her husband, who lost their only son over the weekend.

Max Barry, 22, died from a drug overdose in Colorado on Saturday.

His memorial service was held at the Belcourt Theatre in Hillsboro Village. The Barry family says this was a special place to them and was one of the places where their son spent a lot of time, making it the obvious location to celebrate his life.

Hundreds of people packed the auditorium. In the front row, the mayor and her husband listened as several people spoke about their son and what he meant to them.

Max Barry's former Little League coach described him as someone who was always smiling, loved his family and friends and was always wearing tie-dye T-shirts.

Several of his friends also spoke at the service, including his best friend, musician John Prine.

Prine choked up, talking about his friend's love for the outdoors and music. Prine said he feels like he lost a part of himself over this past weekend.

"Whatever I've lost from losing Max, I will gain back with him by my side. Although in the physical plane, I may no longer have my brother next to me, but I have gained one of the most special things that I will have as long as I breathe. I've gained a guardian," Prine said.

Bruce Barry surprised everyone when he got up to speak during the service. He put on a baseball cap, which he said his son loved, and spoke about how important it was that he and his wife were open about the circumstances surrounding their son's death.

"The point I really want to make here is that the circumstances last Saturday in Denver tell the story of his death and not the story of his life," he said.

On Monday, friends and family gathered for a an emotional vigil at the Blair School of Music.

In a statement on Sunday, the mayor shared this about her son:

"Early this morning, we received news that no parents should ever have to hear. Our son Max suffered from an overdose and passed away. We cannot begin to describe the pain and heartbreak that comes with losing our only child. Our son was a kind soul full of life and love for his family and friends.

Our family would greatly appreciate your thoughts and prayers, and would respectfully ask for privacy as we mourn the loss of our child and begin to understand a world without his laughter and love in our lives."

Below is the full obituary for Max Barry:

Max H Barry, born December 9, 1994, died of an apparent drug overdose in the Denver area on July 29 at the age of 22.

Son of Mayor Megan Barry and Bruce Barry, Max was born and raised in Nashville. He attended Eakin Elementary School, West End Middle School, and Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School before attending and graduating from University School of Nashville.

He graduated in June from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, with a bachelor's degree in communications. A lover of music, and 1990s hip-hop in particular, Max's dream was to find a career in music and radio. While at college, Max would occasionally DJ at KUPS, the radio station for the University of Puget Sound.

Max was our beloved boy. He made us laugh and he made us crazy. We will never hear him say momma or pops again. We will never dance at his wedding or celebrate another milestone with him. But we will remember him for the sweet, sweet soul that he was. The soul that was restless and calm and free and beautiful and kind. Max was the kindest person we ever knew.

He loved his family and his friends. He loved his dogs, Hank and Murray and Sherman and he tolerated Boris. He loved skiing and Colorado and climbing mountains and being outside. He loved hanging out and watching a movie and he loved fishing. He loved hugs and he loved baseball hats.

Max leaves behind so many people who loved him including his parents and his grandparents, Joyce Brody, Jan Mueller, and Ken Mueller, his aunts and uncles and cousins and his friends. Max, we will miss you. God speed, our precious boy.

Memorial contributions can be made in Max Barry's name to the Oasis Center or the Nashville Humane Association.

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