Chapter Grand

Barry Nelson #185


Barry E. Nelson (1949 - 2016)
Barry Earl Nelson-beloved father, husband, businessman and public servant-passed away in Dallas on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. He was 67 years old. Barry was born on June 18, 1949 in Billings, Montana, to the late William "Bill" and Evelyn Nelson, most recently of Houston. After graduating with a business degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1971, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Barry began his commercial real estate career in Houston with Gerald D. Hines Interests. In the early 1980s, he moved his young family to Dallas and began his development career, delivering many class "A" office projects in several cities across the country, including some of the most iconic office buildings in Dallas, including Fountain Place, Spectrum Center, and 8080 Central, among others. In 2013, Barry was personally selected and appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to serve on the Board of Regents of his alma mater, a position for which he had great passion, pride and commitment. In addition to serving as Board Secretary and a member of the Executive Committee, Barry was also Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee. Under his leadership, the university recently broke ground on the Cole STEM Building, a $46.4 million landmark educational facility. Additionally, Barry served as an executive advisory board member of the SFA Nelson Rusche College of Business. Barry's contributions to the City of Dallas were not simply brick and mortar. He was actively involved in many local professional organizations, including in roles as a board member of the Dallas Business Development Corporation and as a past executive committee member of the Dallas Real Estate Council. Barry was also a generous donor to many charitable organizations and a proud supporter of our members of law enforcement and the military. Barry had a wide array of personal interests. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt with his friends and family. He was a voracious reader and a diligent student of history and culture. He loved tennis, politics, architecture, movies, music and the beach. In his earlier years, Barry was known to "hang ten" from time to time. In between waves, he could often be heard jamming on his Fender Stratocaster. Barry is survived by his wife, Marla Nelson; stepson Fletcher Cordell (wife Molly) of Dallas, daughter Mary Stratmann (husband Ben) of Austin, son William Nelson of Austin, stepdaughters Lindsay and Ally Langston of Dallas; grandchildren McCulloch and Olivia Cordell; and his beloved Maine Coon cat, Arthur Wyatt. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, November 14th at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 3300 Mockingbird Ln, University Park. The family wishes to thank the countless friends who have visited, provided for and prayed with them during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, the families ask that you consider a donation to the Barry Nelson Memorial Scholarship at SFA. Gifts can be made at, where individuals can simply enter any amount they wish to contribute. Gifts by check should be made payable to the SFASU Foundation with a note stating that the gift is in memory of Regent Nelson, and should be mailed to SFASU Foundation, P.O. Box 6092, SFA Station, Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6092. For contributions by phone, please call (936) 468-5406. The families will be notified of all gifts. 

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11/08/16 08:06 PM #1    

James R. Frazee #178

What happened after his bypass surgery??  Great pledge brother .  The Quiet One the members had to beware of his passion to prick them.  Of course all in good fun.  Brother Barry RIP .

11/09/16 06:53 AM #2    

Stuart D. Thompson #136

Barry remains one of the very good guys. I have known him since the early 60's in Billings, Montana. A great friend and Brother. He will be missed.

11/09/16 07:26 AM #3    

Kenneth J Peltier #167

This comes as a shock. Barry was a good man and gave a lot back to his community. We will all miss him. Our prayers are with you and your family. God bless you Barry.

11/09/16 11:28 AM #4    

Robert (Bobby) Delk #206

I just visited with Barry three weeks ago in front of our church.  He looked great, and was talking about the Lufkin Phi Delt reunion.  I am completely shocked.  It sure tells us that we never know in advance, when our time comes.  This is really sad.

11/09/16 12:54 PM #5    

Jerry Russell #196

What a shock ! Admired and respected Barry since my days of  pledgeship. He gave me hell early on but he was one of those guys that just makes an endearing mark on your lifetime memories ! Wish I could tell him !


11/09/16 01:39 PM #6    

Richard Reich #117


I'll post this for my Brother in Law Ed Stephens. He is very low tech. Barry was Ed's big brother.  When I called him yesterday he was in shock.  Said he was a great Big Brother & an all around good person.  He was also on the Board of Regents at SFA.  We have lost a great Brother.




11/10/16 03:44 PM #7    

Ray Driver #218

Barry was a great guy and Brother and we became roommates while at SFA.. We had some really great times together. Here are a couple of photos that his first wife showed a friend of mine that were found in the AKO yearbook at SFA, sent to us in 2010. No idea what year these were taken but there is a story here. We stayed in contact through the years since both of us were involved with real estate. Barry was from Houston and worked for Hines here for many years before he moved to Dallas. He was very successful wherever he landed and well respected. We last visited when he was here for the SFA/SH game. He was a guy that would give you the shirt off his back. He will be greatly missed.


11/11/16 08:06 PM #8    

Gary L. Bearicks #171

When Joel left us for the Chapter Grand it was a very sad day in deed.

When I found out Berry passed away I openly wept.

I call the hospital at 10:65 am  on the 7th and never spoke with him.

The sky is crying and it’s raining in my heart.

  God bless all my brothers, family and friends. RIP.

11/11/16 09:37 PM #9    

Joel Moore #334


I spent time with Barry's wife, Marla,  this evening. She would like for all brothers attending the funeral to sit together. The first 3 rows on the right hand side will be reserved for us & families. But she requests we arrive a bit early to sit there.


Ken Schaefer 




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