Barrett Conley Sollenberger
Arizona Republic Obituary
(Printed on 6-28-05)
Barrett Conley Sollenberger, born in 1945 in Dallas Texas, passed away suddenly on June 23rd, his sixtieth birthday. Barry passionately pursued a career in high school sports publishing, beginning with the founding of Phoenix Metro Magazine in 1970, continuing with Arizona high school record books for football, track, basketball, and baseball, and finally becoming Arizona Interscholastic Association Media Relations Director. His ten-year work on a book "The 100-Year History of High School Football in Arizona", while nearly completed, was interrupted by his death.
In 1964, as a student / athlete at Arcadia High School, Barry won the Arizona State Decathlon, scoring, at the time, the fourth highest point total ever recorded by an American high school athlete. He later competed in track at both Phoenix College and ASU where, in 1971, he graduated, becoming a lifelong, ardent Sun Devil supporter. His uncanny ability to
remember the details of a particular play in a specific game twenty-some years ago became legendary. Barry was bilingual, speaking both English and sports. Yet Barry was more than sports historian.
He was indifferent to money and social status, pursuing instead his dream of recognizing the excellence of high school athletes. Called affectionately Big Barry, Elder Barry or Uncle Barry by his family, he was a champion athlete, movie collector, outdoors lover, campfire builder, Steven Spielberg's first movie star, indulger of all children, roller coaster rider, protector of underdogs, celebrator of others' achievements, comedian, dog and cat lover to a fault, free spirit, neighbor, uncle extraordinaire, brother and beloved friend.
He is survived by brothers Jim (Marilyn) of Phoenix, and Mark (Kathy) of Scottsdale, and nephews Barry (his namesake), John and Kris, and nieces Kelly and Katie, and by countless high school athletes and fans throughout Arizona.
A memorial service is planned for Friday, July 1, at Valley Presbyterian Church Sanctuary at 10:00 AM, 6947 E. Mc Donald Drive, Scottsdale, Arizona. Please send any donations to the Barry Sollenberger Historical Sports Foundation, c/o Arizona Interscholastic Association, 7007 N. 18th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85020-5552. Arrangements by Messinger Indian School Mortuary.