New chapter for former Lynn fire chief

Jack Barry of Lynn is set to become a funeral director at Conway Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home in Peabody.


After more than three decades on the Lynn Fire Department,  District Chief Jack Barry retired last year.

But instead of playing golf, fishing or visiting far-off lands the 60-year-old retiree has a new career. He’s a licensed funeral director.

“I guess I’m a workaholic,” he said. “After a very successful and satisfying career with the Lynn Fire Department, which was a lifelong dream for me, to have a second career at my age is great.”

Among his new duties include meeting with families, helping plan services, embalming and preparing bodies, planning and organizing wakes and memorial services and placing obituary notices in newspapers.

While the job is dramatically different from fighting fires, Barry said there are parallels.

“I serve families and take care of people in their greatest time of need,” he said.

It’s the perfect job, he said, following years of working in stressful situations often with lives on the line.  

“It’s a great job for retirees,” he said. “It’s a few hours in the morning and a few in the afternoon.”

Fire Chief James McDonald said Barry was among the best district chiefs he ever worked for and with.

“He loved the job that much and he lived and breathed the fire service,” he said.  “He’s earned his time off, but he loves helping people and this is his way to ease into retirement.”

Thomas Grillo can be reached at [email protected]

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