Former Northglenn mayor Odell Barry dies

Odell Barry cheers on kids during a City of Northglenn youth football program in 1986. The former Denver Bronco punt return specialist and former Northglenn mayor died Jan. 2, 2022.
Odell Barry cheers on kids during a City of Northglenn youth football program in 1986. The former Denver Bronco punt return specialist and former Northglenn mayor died Jan. 2, 2022.
Courtesy City of Northglenn
Posted

Former Northglenn Mayor Odell Barry died on Jan. 2 at the age of 80 due to congestive heart disease. 

Odell served Northglenn in a multitude of capacities, including owning Colorado's first full-service Dairy Queen, representing ward two for eight years on the City Council and as Mayor for two years, from 1980 to 1982. He stands as Northglenn's first black mayor. 

“Mayor Barry will be remembered in part for his leadership in establishing a master plan for our city, building a city hall and community center, and supporting an $80 million water project,” said Mayor Leighty. 

Born in Memphis, Tenn. in 1941, Barry grew up in Toledo, Ohio. The Denver Broncos drafted him out of the University of Findlay in the 19th round of the 1964 American Football League Draft. 

Odell played for two seasons in 26 games as a return specialist, with 2,215 total return yards. As a rookie, he led the National Football League in kickoff returns and return yards. 

Odell started off as Northglenn's recreation director and began his work with the city, making his mark on the local sports community.

Football wasn't the only sport where he left his mark. He served on the Colorado Baseball Commission in the early 1990s and helped create the Colorado Rockies as a Major League Baseball expansion team. 

Justice Center West Park

Northglenn's Diversity, Inclusivity and Social Equity board has recommended naming the park near the Northglenn Justice Center after Barry to the City's Parks and Recreation Board, which was approved according to Diana Wilson, a spokesperson for the City of Northglenn. 

“...the next step is for City Council to consider the request. They will be discussing the proposal at their Feb. 7 City Council meeting. If consensus is received by Council on Feb. 7, a resolution will be considered at a future Council meeting,” Wilson said. 

Barry had a wife, two sons and five grandchildren. 

“I thank our former mayor for his deep commitment to our community and for having the courage to break down barriers. To honor his legacy, The City of Northglenn will continue to focus on the deeply rooted values of diversity, equality and inclusivity,” said Mayor Leighty. 

Memorial information

The viewing for Odell Barry is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. Jan. at Scott United Methodist Church, 2880 N. Garfield St. Denver.
The funeral service is scheduled 11 a.m. Jan. 15 at Scott United Methodist Church.
Interment follows immediately at Olinger Highland Cemetery, 10201 Grant St., Thornton.
Masks will be required, and a live streaming service option will be available.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Denver Kappa Alpha Psi Scholarship Foundation (DKAPS), PO Box 370597 Denver, CO 80237. Please share memories and condolences at www.OlingerHighland.com.

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