Barry Reid Mandell

by | Dec 4, 2015 | Obituaries

NORFOLK—Barry Reid Mandell, 75, passed away on November 22, 2015. He was born in Long Beach, Calif. in 1940 to the late LCDR Charles and Ida Hurwitz Mandell. He was the beloved husband of Gayle Norvell Mandell and step-father of Christopher Lionel Brown.

Barry spent his early years living in Greenbelt, Md., while his father was attached to the Chief of Naval Operations staff. Occasionally, he would accompany his Dad to the office and would pass a room full of small car-size black boxes, bobbing and turning on a swivel. He was told they were flight simulators used to train pilots. Barry was transfixed by the sight, and the seed of a dream was planted.

Across the road from his home in Greenbelt was Schrom Airport. Barry would sneak across the road, walk down the rows of bright yellow airplanes and would reach out and touch one of the planes and look inside. The dream ignited, he would become a pilot. Meanwhile, the Mandell family moved from Greenbelt to Norfolk, Va., where Barry attended Granby High School and was a member of the wrestling team under Coach Billy Martin.

In the spring of 1962, Barry enrolled in the Flight Engineers course at Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With the realization that flight engineers took many years to advance to flight officers, Barry changed direction and graduated with his commercial pilots license in September of 1964, later flying with MATS contractors, ZANTOP and QUICKTRANS. At the start of the Viet Nam War, he was recruited by Air America and flew several missions. In 1989, while interviewing with United, Barry was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease and left flying.

In 1982, Barry met and married Gayle and enjoyed a brief career as a restaurateur, later joining Gayle in the art gallery business. The two owned and operated a gallery in Virginia Beach, but later decided on a change of scene and moved to Virginia’s Northern Neck where they also operated a successful gallery. After retiring in 2008, Barry and Gayle moved back to Norfolk.

Barry enjoyed the fellowship of members of the morning Minyan service at Temple Israel where he made many friends.

He is survived by his wife Gayle, stepson Christopher Lionel Brown of Newport News, and nieces and nephews David Weinraub, Leah Weinraub Duberstein, Dana Weinraub Barnhill, Adam Weinraub, Shaun Goeckner and Russell Goeckner,

A graveside burial took place at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations may be made to Temple Israel in Norfolk.