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Barr E. Asplundh

Barr E. Asplundh, past president and chairman of the board of the Asplundh Tree Expert Co., died on August 14, 2010 at the age of 82.

Born in Abington, Pennsylvania in 1927, Barr was the eldest son of Griffith Asplundh, one of three brothers who founded the Asplundh Tree Expert Co. in 1928. The company, still family-owned and managed, employs over 26,000 people and is the leading provider of vegetation management services to utilities and municipalities throughout North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Barr joined the company part-time in 1945, working on a tree crew in the Philadelphia area during summer vacations. After high school, he served in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne from 1946 to 1948 and then attended the Pennsylvania State College (now University) in State College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics in 1952. Barr came back to the company, working his way up through the general foreperson level to a supervisor position in Maryland. Three years later, he moved to Michigan to serve as a manager of Asplundh operations and in 1958, he returned to Pennsylvania to oversee the company’s equipment department.

Elected vice president in 1962, Barr also oversaw several field management regions and six years later, he became the first of the second generation to be elected company president. In 1982, he was elected chairman of the board and seven years later, retired from day-to-day operations. Barr stepped down as the company’s chairman in 1990, but continued to serve on the board until 2002 and then served in an advisory capacity until 2008 when his health began to fail.

Throughout his adult life, Barr was active in civic organizations including the Abington Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, the Wills Eye Hospital Development Council, the Philadelphia Zoological Society ,the Bryn Athyn Zoning Board, The Highlands Historical Society in Ft. Washington and the Asplundh Foundation. He also served over 10 years on the board of the Huntingdon Valley Country Club.

Barr enjoyed many outdoor hobbies. In support of his love of salt water fishing, he served as the Commodore of the Ocean City Marlin and Tuna Club in New Jersey, helping it grow from 50 members to over 1,000, and was a member of the Ocean City Yacht Club, the Ocean Reef Club in Florida and the International Gamefish Association. Barr also loved flying fixed wing aircraft, including gliders, and was skilled in aerobatics. He was a member of the Wings Field Pilots’ Association in Pennsylvania and Ocean Reef Flying Club in Florida, as well as the Experimental Aircraft Association, International Aerobatic Club and the Soaring Society of America. Horseback riding, hunting and target shooting were hobbies he also enjoyed.

Barr is survived by his wife of over 30 years, Jeanne (nee Leedecker); a daughter, Alex Asplundh; four grandchildren, Leah, Kyle, Caylynn and Natalie; two great-granddaughters, Saylor and Maeli; a brother, Paul, who also worked for the company for 50 years; a sister, Leone Graham; as well as numerous cousins and their descendents.

A memorial service will be held at The Bryn Athyn Cathedral on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a contribution be made in Barr’s memory to either Angel Flight, 1501 Narcissa Rd., Blue Bell, PA 19422 or Care Alternatives Hospice, 501 Office Center Dr., Suite 285, Ft. Washington, PA 19034.

Arrangements by Shaeff-Myers Funeral Home – online condolence messages for the family may be left at www.Shaeff-Myers.com

GUESTBOOK

Deepest sympathies for the loss of such a Great leader.
May his memory and legacy sustain your family.

With great respect.

E.T. Gray

Edwin t. Gray Jr.   -   8/22/2010 _______________________________________________________________________________________


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