But my closest association is as one of his test-solver/proofreaders for the LA Sunday Times puzzle. I've done this for close to 20 years. In the old days, we snail-mailed the puzzles back and forth, and more recently I've sent corrections by e-mail. He's been unfailingly good-humored, cordial and supportive, gently nudging me if I was late. I can't think of a single negative aspect of our time working together.
On Thursday, I received an e-mail headed "New Proofing Address" saying:
Please send next proofs to Amber.
Starting next Monday, I'm outta here. (Leukemia)
* * * * *
This was alarming, but I didn't realize what he meant. I replied, "Sorry to hear that!" thinking he was perhaps going into the hospital Monday or taking a sabbatical from puzzle production - not literally "outta here."
Alas, today the sad news came that he died at home last night, surrounded by family, grateful for all the good in his life.
The puzzle world is full of "good guys" but Barry was one of the best. He will be missed.