Twenty-five years ago this week, San Mar Family & Community Services lost a great friend in Jack Ellsworth Barr. As a long-time board member, he was instrumental in supporting the creation of the Therapeutic Group Home focused on residential mental health services for girls in 1997. Originally planned to be named “Hidden Spring” after construction uncovered a large spring during excavation, the name was changed to the Jack E. Barr Therapeutic Group Home immediately following his tragic passing.
Today his legacy lives on at San Mar in the former residential facility through the Jack E. Barr Center for Well Being, where large numbers of local children and families utilize the outpatient community mental health center that also positions mental health providers in Washington County Public Schools and at other community partnerships.
As past President of the Board, Jack was instrumental in recruiting past CEO Bruce T. Anderson, who when recently discussing his friendship explained, “Jack was a man that loved San Mar. As he was working hard investing in his own family and business, he always made time for anything we needed, and simply put, he was just a fine man.”
Julie Strasburg, one of Jack’s eight children, recently remembered, “Our father was a man of integrity and was humbled by God’s blessings to him and his family. His love of his heavenly Father, his family and his community were exemplified in his support and community involvement. San Mar had a special place in his heart because of the programs and staff that devoted their efforts to helping young women succeed in a safe and stable environment.”
As we remember the contributions of Jack, we lift up the power of giving and service. Twenty-five years later the ripple effect of his investment of time, talents and treasures continues at San Mar as an example for others: What can you do to support children and families?