It is with profound sadness that Lynn and I inform the caving family of the passing of our dear friend and fellow caver Dr. Thomas Calhoun Barr NSS 892 RL HM CM FE.
Tom's wife Mrs. Judy called us early this morning about 9:30 asking our help in sharing the news with all his caver friends that have been such a big part of Tom's life. He passed away during the evening of April 29, 2011 at the age of 79. Most of you are aware of only part of the huge amount of accomplishments that Tom has enjoyed during his lifetime. Tom was a true caver besides being a world renowned cave biologist, university professor, former NSS president (1965-1967), and a voice of reason and experience occasionally sharing his wit and wisdom with us. He joined the NSS at age 18 and dedicated much of his early career to exploring caves in many locations around the country and especially in TAG using a coleman lantern for his light source. Most cavers know that Tom authored the book "Caves of Tennessee" which has been used by nearly every newbie caver in Tennessee as "the source" for finding caves to explore. In addition to his love of caving Dr. Barr graduated from Harvard, Columbia, and Vanderbilt Universities eventually teaching at Texas Tech, Tennessee Tech and becoming professor emeritus of Biological Sciences at the University of Kentucky where he retired in 1993 after a long successful career. He was a gifted scientist who tirelessly worked on describing new cave beetle species, collaborated on scientific papers, and helped mentor the next generations of cavers and cave biologists. Tom's dedication to the study of cave beetles continued to the day he died.
There is so much more to this man than can be written in a simple post. He was a true friend, mentor, and gentleman. We will miss his gentle voice, great sense of humor, and his unique "coleman lantern" caving style. His passing is truly a huge loss to all his friends, family, and to all cavers. Tom you will be greatly missed.
Brian and Lynn Roebuck
PS: we'll post funeral arrangements as soon as they become available