Cover photo for Dr. G. Barry Pierce's Obituary
Dr. G. Barry Pierce Profile Photo
1925 Dr. 2015

Dr. G. Barry Pierce

July 21, 1925 — November 19, 2015

Gordon Barry Pierce was born in Westlock, Alberta, Canada on July 21st, 1925, the son of Gordon and Helen Pierce and little brother of Catherine. Barry enjoyed the farm, mischief, and a one room schoolhouse, later attending the University of Alberta and graduating in 1950. He met the love of his life, Donna Jean Turner, RN, in the hospital ward when she bumped into him with her med cart. They were engaged 3 weeks later and enjoyed 63 years of marriage. He is survived by wife Donna, and 5 children, who all consider themselves his favorite, Don (Lorraine), Helen (Alvin), Gordon (Melanie), Trish (Sue), and Tom (Diana), grandchildren Shona, Phillip, Greg, Doug, Brian, Anne, Emmily, Sarah, Devin, Dylan, and Christopher, and the children of his beloved sister Catherine and her husband George Ford (both deceased), Gordon (Leslie), Margaret (David), Neil (Sara), and Elizabeth (Dan). Barry attended the University of Alberta Medical School and was inspired by Professors R.F. Shane and H.W. Rawlinson, two dynamic, brilliant mentors who drew Barry into the world of science. During his medical residency, he cared for a 3 year old boy with testicular cancer who died. It bothered him that at the time, no one knew the diagnosis of the tumor that killed the child, so he dedicated his career to science and to study testicular cancer. He was an Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh until 1961, and later became an Associate Professor of Pathology at the University of Michigan until 1968. He became the Chair of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Pathology Department in 1968 and held this position through 1982. He had exacting standards to which he held himself and his peers. One of his colleagues noted when he learned of Barry's passing said ""it felt like King Arthur was dead. His faculty thought they were members of the Round Table under him. The current areas of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine were essentially invented by him. There are researchers and physicians all around the world who have been influenced by his ideas."" He was an accomplished and extraordinary cancer researcher who contributed mightily to the world of stem cell research and his original work is still quoted in the scientific literature today. He published dozens of papers and received innumerable awards, including the American Cancer Society Career Professorship, the McFarlane Visiting Professor of Medicine, University of Glasgow, Doctors Honoris Causa, University of Granada, Spain, Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado Health Sciences, as well as the Rous-Whipple and the Gold Headed Cane award from the American Association of Pathologists. Barry was a renaissance man in the truest sense of the word, and lived his life fully. He was an intellectual, avid gardener (just ask his children who used to have to pick the produce), bonsai expert, photographer, woodworker always in search of the perfect piece of walnut or birdseye maple, and world traveler. He had a quick wit and ready smile. But above all, he was a family man who adored his wife, lived for his kids, and left the world a better place than he found it. In lieu of flowers, we kindly suggest a donation to the American Cancer Society. Memorial Service 2:00 pm, Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at the Horan & McConaty Family Chapel, 1091 South Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80246. Please feel free to share a memory of Gordon or condolences below.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. G. Barry Pierce, please visit our flower store.

Guestbook

Visits: 18

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree