The WPI/NTPA office was recently informed of the death on Thursday, December 5 of Darrell Barrier, 64, of Concord, North Carolina. Mr. Barrier was the owner of two state and national championship-winning tractors, the "20 Mule Team" Super Stock and "Red Iron Special" Super Farm.
A native of Louisiana, Mr. Barrier was a resident of the Tarheel State since childhood and a lifelong member of Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Concord. Until his retirement, he was the president and owner of Cresent Construction, Inc., a builder of hospitals, schools, and churches throughout central North Carolina.
In his spare time, he enjoyed restoring antique tractors, fishing, and spending time with his children and grandchildren. "I found out that I had a real love in working on machinery and equipment with my hands," Mr. Barrier told The Puller magazine in May 2004. "To that end, in 1992, I started buying old worn-out tractors, namely John Deere two-cylinders, along with Olivers and then restoring them to new or better condition."
One of those Deeres became a puller and, piloted by Mr. Barrier's employees, won 150 trophies in 1998 and 1999. Between that highly positive introduction to competition and his observation of Super Stock pulling in the area, he elected to become a team owner. He accomplished this by first refurbishing the International 1066 he eventually dubbed "Red Iron Special" in 2000 and then by purchasing Tom Dickerson's "20 Mule Team" International 3688 in 2003.
Both moves paid dividends nearly immediately, as James Vanhoy drove "Red Iron Special" to the 2002 United Pullers of the Carolinas' Super Farm title, repeated in 2003 while sharing the driving duties with Mr. Barrier's son Jason, and that same year teamed with Adam Harris to capture the UPOC Heavy Super Stock championship with "20 Mule Team.". The Barrier Team then moved on to national competition in 2004 and promptly earned both divisions' titles in Region IV before finishing fifth in the 2005 Grand National Super Stock Diesel standings.
In addition to Jason and his wife Chandra, Mr. Barrier is survived by his wife Billie (Measmer), his daughter Amber (Shane) Craig, his grandchildren Zachary, Kayley, Madison, and Isabella, his parents Bobby Ray and Joann, and his sister Rhonda (Rusty). His complete obituary may be found here. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, 4500 Rimer Rd., Concord, North Carolina 28025.
Our hearts go out to the Barrier family in their time of mourning and remembrance.