Albert Taylor (A.T.) Barr, Graphics Specialist and Knife Maker, died suddenly of Non Hodgkin's High Grade B Cell Lymphoma on Saturday, January 2, 2021 at Casa de la Luz at the Hacienda Hospice in Tucson, AZ at age 75. A.T. was the loving husband and father of 2 children and 4 bonus children.
The first thing most people asked A.T. is, “What does A.T. stand for?” Oh how A.T. used to love to tell jokes about all the different things the A and the T could stand for. But the true answer wasn’t just Albert Taylor, the real answer was “Always There”. In high school, while other kids were enjoying teenage years, A.T. was “Always There” as he cared for his aging grandmother, his invalid mother, and raised his younger sister. In the 1970’s, when men never got custody of children, A.T. was “Always There” as he gained sole custody of his two little girls. When new knife makers wanted to learn how to make a knife, A.T. was “Always There” to guide them. A.T. hated long hair and because it was so much trouble. But A.T. grew long hair again and again to donate to children with hair loss because A.T. was “Always There”. When it came to donating blood, A.T. was “Always There” at the blood bank every 56 days when he could donate again. Over the years, he donated many gallons of blood. In more recent years, when a friend was ill, A.T. was “Always There” as he cooked meals for the family for nearly a year. Legally, A.T. stood for Albert Taylor. But in A.T.’s heart, A.T. stood for “Always There”.
A.T. was born in Dallas, Texas on October 6, 1945. He attended Mesquite High School and was in the marching band. He marched in the Rose Bowl Parade as the “X” in Texas as he played the baritone horn. On a school field trip to the Dallas Morning News, A.T. fell in love with the newspapers printing presses, and he was hooked. He also attended Croger Technical School, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and other printing technical programs.
A.T. began his career in printing at the Dr. Pepper Company in Dallas, TX. He continued working up the ladder in the industry at American Printing and Litho, American Graphic Press, and Martinez and Rutter. When he joined Gulf States paper, he designed and developed the pre press operations at several plants. In his last position at Gulf States, he worked with Gulf States two largest accounts, m & m Mars and Nestle Corporation.
A.T. was as passionate about his interests as he was about his career and family. He took up archery and was the Texas State Archery Champion 3 years in a row. A.T. passionately worked long hours on a beautifully manicured yard. He also fell in love with making knives and passionately taught himself to make collector caliber knives which won many awards and accolades. Following retirement from Gulf States Paper Corporation, A.T. worked on knives full time and traveled extensively to knife shows. Retiring to Arizona, A.T. worked passionately with the Rotary Club where he served as Webmaster, Bulletin Editor, and Audio-Visual Guru. A.T. loved the Rotary philanthropy projects, and enjoyed helping others. When A.T. committed to something or pursued an interest, he was “Always There”.
They say you could take the boy out of Texas, but you never could take Texas out of the boy. This long tall Texan loved his hot sauce, jalapeños, Texas BBQ, Tex-Mex and had tortillas every morning for breakfast. But then he fell in love with Arizona, the incredible mountain ranges, the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, and the caring people, and Arizona became “home”.
A.T. is survived by his wife, Barbara of Tucson, AZ, his daughters Shelly Jo Fernandez of San Antonio and Wendy Bible (Ray) of Indianapolis, bonus son Dennis Greening (Kathy) of Henrieville, UT, bonus daughters Shannon Noah of Dallas, and Jaden Walker (Steven) of Grass Valley, CA, grandchildren Ashley Wilcox of San Antonio, Chris Price (Ashli) of Waco, TX, Ian Wilcox (Justine), Odessa, TX, Kimberly Hawhee (Ray) of Whitney, TX. Renee Fernandez of San Antonio, Olivia Walker of Grass Valley, CA, Pete Fernandez of San Antonio, and 4 great grandchildren. A.T. was preceded in death by his parents, Gloria Eloise (Mesquite, TX) and Hubert “Jack” Barr (Dallas, TX), his sister Gloria (Dallas, TX), and bonus daughter Renae (Dallas, TX).
In lieu of flowers, he family would suggest that if you wish to make a memorial donation for A. T. please consider The Saddlebrooke Rotary Club Foundation, Inc. a 501c3 charity.
Checks should be made payable to : The Saddlebrooke Rotary Club Foundation, Inc.
The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke
P.O. Box 8388
Tucson, AZ 85738-8388
Due to COVID-19, a Celebration of Life will be held when large groups can gather again. Stay tuned for more information. Arrangements by Desert Sunset Funeral Home.