February 20, 1939 - February 13, 2023
Barry Whitcomb Schwenkmeyer, 83, died a peaceful death at his home in Redwood City, CA on February 13, 2023 after suffering from Parkinson's disease. Barry was born to Carl and Carolyn Schwenkmeyer in Albany, NY on February 20, 1939. He was preceded in death by his wife, Carmen Lynch.
Barry grew up in Mariemont, Ohio with his younger brother, Peter. After graduating from Harvard University in 1961, he embarked on a teaching career and service with the U.S. Department of State that took him to Barranquilla, Colombia; Vienna, Austria; Tehran, Iran; and Vientiane, Laos. He returned to the US in 1969 to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching at Harvard University. After working at the Academy for Educational Development in New York City from 1970-1974, Barry moved to California where he remained for the rest of his life.
Early in his time in California, he ghost-wrote the New York Times best-seller Creative Divorce with Mel Krantzler. Barry has also written (and ghost-written) best-selling books on topics ranging from pet detectives to higher education to interpersonal relationships. For many years Barry worked as a writer for leadership development and consulting companies. He wrote award-winning videos, case studies, workbooks, toolkits, and simulations for organizations that wanted to improve the technical and interpersonal skills of their employees, such as Cisco and Microsoft.
Famous for his wit and prolific letter-writing, Barry maintained close friendships with people from all facets of his life. Barry was an avid reader and relentlessly
curious about the world, its people, and their stories.
In 1976 Barry met his future wife, Carmen Lynch, who moved to California after growing up in Brisbane, Australia. They both shared a love of traveling, reading, dogs, art, food and wine, and gardening - along with a keen interest in human behavior. Coming from a family of artists, Barry carried on the tradition with his many paintings that adorned not only the walls of his home but those of friends, family members, and local businesses. Barry is survived by his brother Peter Schwenkmeyer, sister-in-law Jan Zalla, and nieces Amy and Kelly Schwenkmeyer.
A gathering to celebrate Barry will take place at Angelica's Restaurant at 863 Main Street in Redwood City, CA on Friday, April 28 from 12:00-2:00pm. Barry's family asks that any donations in his name kindly be directed to Mission Hospice of San Mateo County.