Retirees Association

Gary C. Barlow, 88, Professor of Art Therapy, Department of Teacher Education

Gary Barlow

Gary Charles Barlow, 88, of Fairborn, passed away Thursday, April 25, 2024, at the Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek, Ohio. Gary was born on Sept.15, 1935, in Toledo, Ohio, and raised in Colton, a small community in northwestern Ohio.

From his parents, Gary learned many traits, such as a friendly respect for others, a good sense of humor, basic positive work ethics, and Christian beliefs, which transferred to the rest of his life experiences. In elementary and high school, his teachers encouraged his love for learning and his talent for art.

After graduation, he attended Miami University, where he pursued a B.S. in Art Education, graduating in 1957. During his senior year, Gary was awarded one of four Miami University presidential scholarships that encouraged the recipient to consider higher education teaching as a career. This allowed him to remain at Miami for master's study, and he received his M.Ed. degree in 1958.

Following graduation, Gary was an art teacher in the Cincinnati Public Schools. He, along with four other art teachers, formed a group that had their personal art displayed in various local galleries, juried shows, corporations, and museums.

After two years of public-school teaching, Gary was hired by Miami University to teach summer school classes on the Oxford campus, as well as school-year extension classes in the greater Dayton area.

When formative plans were underway by the Miami and Ohio State Universities to begin a new campus in Dayton, Gary was hired in 1964 as the first faculty member from Miami to serve in these early development stages of Wright State University. He represented Miami University in further planning, as the project moved forward from being a "Dayton Campus" to a full-fledged university.

During the mid-sixties, Gary pursued doctoral studies at Pennsylvania State University, where he received his Ed.D. degree in 1967.

During his years at Wright State, he coordinated undergraduate and graduate work in art education and also developed a graduate program in art therapy that received national honors. For his teaching, scholarship, and service, Gary was awarded the special designation of University Professor by WSU President Paige Mulhollan.

After his retirement in 1993, Gary continued to remain active at Wright State with part-time teaching, serving on the Friends of the Libraries Board, and supporting the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections.

When the Wright State Retirees Association was formed in 1993, Gary served as the first president and continued to stay involved in its activities and programs until his death.

He grew roses as a hobby, and was a member of the American Rose Society (ARS), serving as a horticultural and arrangement judge. He received a national award from the ARS for service that recognized his local, regional, and national workshops, schools, seminars, and publications.

Related to his growing of roses and interest in horticulture, he became a senior professor of Japanese Ikenobo floral design.

He was preceded in death by his parents Albert M. And Ruby F. (Babcock) Barlow, many relatives, and long-time friend Lewis Shupe. He is survived by his brother Mark A. (Susan) Barlow, niece Katherine (fiancé Jeremy), niece Emily (Ryan) and their daughters Charlotte Mae and Joelle Susan, nephew Grant, and many extended relatives.

Gary donated his body to the Wright State University School of Medicine. His remains will be interred in Rockafield Cemetery on the WSU on-campus and the Heath Cemetery in Colton, Ohio.

Special thanks go to the doctors, nurses, and other hospital personnel for their compassion and care.

A life celebration gathering will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Conner & Koch Funeral Home in Bellbrook, Ohio. A celebration of life service will immediately follow the gathering at 2 p.m., with Pastor Adam Wirrig officiating the services.

In lieu of flowers, contributions are encouraged to the Wright State University Foundation, Foundation Building, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio 45435-0001; Colton Methodist Church, 307 East Street, Liberty Center, Ohio 43532; St. John's United Church of Christ, 515 East 3rd Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402; or a charity of your choice.