Barbara B. Carr, 82, of Port Royal, VA died in her sleep on Saturday, July 11, 2009. Her husband, Jim, and six of her eight children were at her side.

Barbara was born in Long Branch, New Jersey on May 24, 1927 to Reginald Francis “Rex” Beech and Florence Zilly “Dickie” Beech.
As a girl, Barbara moved with her family to Deal, New Jersey, and then to a waterfront house they built in Brightwaters, Long Island.

In 1946, Jim Carr had been sent to New York from Northern Ireland as part of his apprenticeship with his family’s linen-weaving business. Newly arrived in the States, wearing a suit of his grandfather’s, (cut down to fit him,) and working out of the company’s offices in Lower Manhattan, Jim had been living at the “Y” for about a year when Barbara’s father invited him out to Long Island for supper and a change of scenery. (Barbara’s father had been recruited in Ireland in the 1920’s by Jim’s grandfather, Sir Robert Liddell, to become a salesman in the U.S.A. for the company.)

Thus, it was while varnishing the brightwork on the family’s sailboat that Barbara, an avid sailor, met her future husband: James Arthur Carr, Esq. of Belfast, Northern Ireland and the Brooklyn YMCA.

The young Barbara Beech was known to her friends as “Beechie.” She was educated at the Knox School in Cooperstown, NY; at the College of Mount St. Vincent in Riverdale, NY, where she received her nurse’s training; and at the Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School in Boston. After graduation, Barbara relocated to Glendale, CA where she assisted Dr. Millard P. Olney in his medical practice.

Jim Carr had been transferred to his company’s West Coast office two years earlier, and met Barbara at the Los Angeles train station in 1949. Reunited in California, Jim and Barbara spent weekends together at El Mirage Field in California’s Mojave Desert honing their soaring skills alongside aerospace pioneers Vic Saudek and Paul MacCready; and soaring legends Gus Briegleb, Ray Parker, Johnny Robinson and Bill Ivans, among others.

In 1950, the pair returned to New York and were married at The Church of the Heavenly Rest in Manhattan, and then boarded the Britannic to sail to Ireland for their honeymoon. Upon their return, the Carrs settled briefly in Greenwich Village, after which they relocated to Bay Shore, Long Island to start a family.

In 1963, with seven children, the Carrs sold their house on Long Island, and bought a house in Sarasota, Florida. They also acquired a nearby St. Armands bed & bath shop named Hester’s. (The space is now occupied by Kilwin’s Chocolates.) Shortly thereafter, their eighth child was born.
Together with Barbara’s father, the Carrs later opened a larger bed & bath shop on St. Armands, which they named Beech-Carr Linens. (The space is now occupied by McCarver & Moser Jewelers.)

Eventually, the Carrs gained full control of the business, but after a relentless spiraling of the rent, the beloved linen shop was forced to close its doors. In 1989, the Carrs sold their house on St. Armands, and bought property and a small house on the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Mrs. Carr is survived by Jim Carr, her husband of 59 years; sons James L. Carr of Tampa, FL; William B. Carr of Sarasota, FL; David T. Carr of Edgewater, FL; Stephen C. Carr of Port Royal, VA; Rex B. Carr of Alexandria, VA; Adam S. Carr of Richmond, VA; daughters Valerie McNamara of Alexandria, VA; Cynthia Lynch of Wakefield, MA, and eight grandchildren.