Barry T. Houser, 76, of Camp Hill, Lower Allen Twp., passed away on Monday, October 17, 2022 at home surrounded by his family. He was born on December 24, 1945 in Mechanicsburg to the late Philip S. Houser Jr. and Charlotte (Mainhart) Houser.
A 1963 graduate of Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School, Barry was a standout on the baseball diamond from an early age. A 6’4” southpaw, he was recognized in Sports Illustrated in 1962 for throwing consecutive no-hitters – one for the Mechanicsburg Legion team, and the next night, another for the town’s Twilight club. His college career would lead him to Arizona State University, where he played two seasons of football for the Sun Devils before transferring to West Chester University, where he completed his undergraduate degree while shining on the baseball field. His love for baseball was rivaled only by his passion for teaching, and he would go on to earn a master’s degree in Education from Shippensburg University. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1968 and would play for several minor league clubs along the east coast over the next six years. During this time he also served in the Army National Guard. The best thing to come from his playing career was stumbling upon a young lady named Ann Foley after one of his AA games in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The two would marry in 1970 and start a family together in Central PA.
Barry began his teaching career in Mechanicsburg School District; he would briefly take an assistant principal position in Boiling Springs School District before becoming a principal for the remainder of his career in the West Shore School District. He was stern if needed, but his typical disposition at the workplace and at home was gentle and approachable. He was a people person who enjoyed conversation and being around others, and he was never one to simply sit around. At work, he would walk the halls and constantly check in with teachers and students... as they “hoed to the end of the row.” At home, you could find him working outside in the garden, where he meticulously nurtured over 70 rose bushes.
He always enjoyed going out to eat, relating all sorts of tales, and he had a passion for coaching, but his interests shifted the moment he became a grandfather. Affectionately known to them as “T,” his grandsons received support, advice, and more sports knowledge than one could possibly retain. Barry became their biggest fan and traveled all over to follow their academic and athletic endeavors. He was a man of faith, attending St. Theresa Catholic Church since the 1970s. Of course, all during this time he also made room in his home for many rescued cats.
He was larger than life in both physical stature and in his athletic and professional accomplishments. He leaves a unique and irreplaceable void in the lives of those closest to him, but his big smile and gentle way will remain in their hearts.
Surviving Barry is his wife of 52 years, Ann (Foley) Houser; his children, Christopher Houser (Debra) of Camp Hill and Stephanie Kramer (Thomas) of Cape Coral, FL; grandchildren, Tyler and Justin Houser, and Jayson and Zackary Kramer; a brother, Scott Houser (Debbie) of Hatfield; and several nieces and nephews, Flip Houser, Tracy Hendershot, Jennifer Bird and Michael Houser. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Philip S. “Phip” Houser III (2019).
A public viewing will be held from 5-7PM on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at Parthemore Funeral Home & Cremation Services, New Cumberland, with a rosary service starting at 7PM. At 11AM the following morning, a Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Theresa Catholic Church, New Cumberland. At the conclusion of mass, a procession will depart for Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Mechanicsburg.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution in Barry’s name to his church, St. Theresa Catholic Church, 1300 Bridge Street, New Cumberland, PA 17070, or to further Parkinson’s Disease research at www.michaeljfox.org.