David Slack Barrett
Dave Slack Barrett, of Timber and Portland, passed away in Vermont on Wednesday, July 26th, of a sudden heart attack. He was born to Joyce and Richard Barrett on June 1st, 1956, in Richmond, Virginia, the eldest of three children. Dave grew up in Washington, D.C., Manhattan, and Long Island. He moved to Portland to study at Reed College in 1975, fell in love with the Pacific Northwest, and remained in Oregon the rest of his life. In 1984, Dave married Monica Barrett, and they soon welcomed their son, Moses, and in 1988, their daughter, Ella. A busy and devoted parent, Dave adored his children and wife. Dave and Monica were married for 25 years, and he deeply mourned Monica's passing in 2016. Of all his many roles, the role of husband and father was Dave's most beloved.
In 2009, Dave moved to Portland to be with his soul mate, Molly, and they were married in 2014. Dave embraced "city life," as he called living in Multnomah Village, and soon befriended all the neighbors. Dave and Molly's adoration for one another only grew stronger over the years, and their happiness was contagious to all who saw them together. He was, until the end, a nurturing family man whose dearest wish was to see the people he loved happy.
Dave was a tireless and big-hearted member of the community. A tai chi instructor by trade, he taught at Reed College, as well as numerous senior centers and other places in the Portland and Forest Grove area. He was the director of the Yang Cheng Fu Tai Chi Chuan Center in Forest Grove and a lifelong disciple of tai chi master Yang Zhen Duo, and his tai chi practice took him on several trips to China. Dave admired and drew daily inspiration from his students. For him, it was an enormous privilege to share the transformative power of tai chi with people of all ages.
Dave's other great passion was horses. He cherished the bond he built with his horses over the years, particularly Hannah. He also loved introducing others to the experience of riding and working with horses, and being part of a community of horses and their people.
Everyone who met Dave was touched by his warmth and generosity. His determination to delight everyone around him made him a natural entertainer. He was an accomplished musician and storyteller, and an enthusiastic Elvis impersonator.
Dave was generous with everything he had, but most of all with his time. His hospitality and warmth could be summed up in one of his favorite quotes, from Duke Ellington: "Cast your bread upon the water, and it will come back to you buttered."
Dave is survived by his parents, Joyce and Sascha Burland and Richard Barrett; his wife, Molly K. Barrett; his daughter, Ella; his son and daughter-inlaw, Moses and Kassia; his stepdaughter and stepson-in-law, Huelo and Lorenzo Estebanez; his sister, Kimball; his brother and sister-in-law, Randy and Kendall; his nephews, Tyson, Zach, and Caleb; and his niece, Grace.
A service will be held at the Multnomah Arts Center in Portland on Saturday, September 16th, 2017 at one o'clock. All are welcome.
Those that wish to honor Dave's memory can make a donation to to the Los Angeles LGBT Center, https://lalgbtcenter.org/how-you-can-help/david-slack-barrett