Barry Joseph Carroll of Lake Forest, Ill., and East Chop died peacefully on Dec. 23 after a brief illness. He was 74.

Born on Jan. 22, 1944, in Highland Park, Ill, the son of Wallace and Lelia (Holden) Carroll, he grew up on the Lazy C Ranch in Bannockburn and then on LeWa Farm in Lake Forest. He met his wife Barbara Pehrson Carroll while in high school. Barbara always thought that the man she loved and married would share with her a most interesting and adventurous life, and he did.

He spent most of his adulthood working as a manufacturing executive, real estate developer, bank director, university trustee, photographer and filmmaker. He got his start at Lake Forest Academy and graduated from Lake Forest High School in 1961. He attended Boston College and earned his bachelor’s degree from Shimer College in 1966. He attended St. Claire’s Hall, Oxford, England, and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School in 1969. In 1995 he received an honorary doctorate of letters from Shimer College. Early in his career, he was named one of the Outstanding Men of America by the national organization, and he was invited and joined MENSA.

In the early 1960s he pursued his passion for music, playing the guitar with the Careless Lovers and later The Mandrell Singers, opening for such artists as the Mamas and the Papas, Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Dave Van Ronk. He recalled the apex of his career was when he played at the Bitter End Coffee House in New York on the same marquee as Cass Elliott. As a project for school, he and Barbara started the Unicorn coffeehouse in Mt. Carroll, Ill., when they were first married. At age 25, after writing a business plan for another school project, he became the CEO of J.C. Deagan Co., a 79-year-old Chicago musical instrument manufacturing company. He eventually came to own and run the business. He joined the board of the Lake Forest Symphony, serving as vice president and later chairman. He was presented with the Golden Baton award for 50 years of volunteer service and support to the symphony and the Music Institute of the Symphony Association.

A private pilot, he enjoyed flying his Mooney 201J to Martha’s Vineyard, all over the Midwest, New England and the Caribbean with his trusty co-pilot Barbara. They would hire planes and fly over volcanoes together while on vacation all over the world from Hawaii to Thailand. He was an avid sailor and enjoyed the Caribbean and Vineyard in his two boats, Katy, a 41-foot Morgan ketch, and Fairplay, 29-foot skimmer, out of the Edgartown Yacht Club and East Chop Yacht Club. He also enjoyed playing tennis, skiing and scuba diving. He traveled the world.

In 1970, he began a pursuit of improving standards in education when he joined his alma mater as a founding board member for Shimer College and the Shimer College Foundation for Liberal Arts, serving as chairman from 1975 to 1978. He also served as trustee on the boards of Roosevelt University, St. Xavier University, Barat College, and the University of Illinois Eye Research Institute.

From 1983 to 1984, he accepted an appointment by the President’s Commission on Executive Exchange and worked for a year in the first Reagan administration as special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Education, Terrel Bell. He also went on a scientific expedition to an unusually dry valley in Eastern Antarctica in January 1989 where he explored mineral resources while diving under the ice.

His numerous photography and videography projects spanned a variety of scientific and industrial subjects over four decades.

The depth and breadth of Mr. Carroll’s education augured well as he served dozens of educational, cultural, and financial institutions in his lifetime as a trustee, director, president or officer.

A devoted husband, father and grandfather, for all his life’s accomplishments and adventures, his family will always remember him as a lifelong learner and avid reader with an encyclopedic memory who could teach them about virtually any subject, and as someone who enjoyed sailing and flying his airplane, playing many musical instruments and singing folk music.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years and five children: Megan Carroll, Sean Carroll, Deirdre Carroll Erulkar, Colleen Carroll deVeer and Oona Carroll; siblings Wallace E. Carroll Jr., Denis H. Carroll and Lelia Carroll; and 11 grandchildren.

A private funeral was held on Jan. 8. Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on May 18 at the Church of St. Mary in Lake Forest, Ill., and on Martha’s Vineyard on July 16.

Donations can be made in his name to the following charities close to his heart: The Lake Forest Symphony (, The Martha’s Vineyard Museum (, Shimer College (

Arrangements are under the care of Wenban Funeral Home (