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 Barry Thomas “Butch” Kuske

Barry Thomas “Butch” Kuske

Death 7 Oct 2005 (aged 40)
Louisiana, USA
Burial Carencro, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, USA
Memorial ID 63154939 · View Source
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Beloved husband, father, son, friend and a veteran of the US Army and US Air Force. A letter I wrote to his son upon high school graduation:

"Dear Evan,

You may or may not have heard my name mentioned by one or both of your parents at one time or another, but I was one of your father's best friends at the time that we both graduated Osbourn Park High School in 1983. I knew the young Barry when he was your present age and I would like to spend a few moments to describe the experiences that he and I shared during a time that mirrors your present just a few days before high school graduation.

I met Barry in 1982 after his family moved from Maryland to Manassas, Virginia. His father, Tom had just retired from the US Army and had begun a second career. Like myself, Barry needed to earn the extra dollars that were required to buy those extra items that parents on a budget are not normally willing to spend on their teens such as cool clothes, hotrod car parts, women, etc. and I met Barry at Captain D's where he and I became master deep-fry cooks earning minimum wage!

The young Barry was a lot like the young me in the sense that we shared many of the same interests. At the time, we sought women (as in a serious relationship), a college education, women, experience in the military, independence and did I mention women?! Barry and I had huge dreams and goals that surpassed what either of us would ever achieve career-wise. We were supposed to both become Army officers, retire with our families as next-door neighbors and we had this all planned half-way through our senior year!

The aforementioned contains some great goals set as model high school students would intend to plan in the eyes of our parents, but we were both young and also partook in some not-so-great moments of stupid youth tricks that the youth do! I will expound...

The young Barry and I ditched school on many occasions to head off to spend our hard-earned wages on our hotrods (Barry's Chevy Nova and my Mustang) and clothes that would impress women, etc. We were always trying to find the women of our dreams before graduation!

I spent the last three quarters of my senior year trying to steal Sheila away from her boyfriend and was so close! I knew that I would treat her better than Gene, but she just couldn't shake him! Barry…well…there was this cute blond named Cheryl that was a counter-girl at Captain D's and he REALLY had his eye on her! Cheryl seemed to be interested in Barry as well and FINALLY they started dating, but without any official announcement that they were boyfriend/girlfriend.

I think that Barry was playing it cool by prolonging asking Cheryl to commit to him and to date no other. I advised Barry to 'just ask her and tell her how you feel', but before that happened, Thomas in his cool VW Bug stole her away before Barry could ask her to be his! Barry was hotheaded over that and his youthful anger landed him chasing Tom all over Manassas in order to kick some butt! Thomas was scared to death of young Barry to say the very least! Before we graduated, Cheryl was pregnant with Thomas' baby. I believe that Tom eventually married Cheryl, but I also believe that once Barry realized that Cheryl was initially interested in him, that he never asked her to commit because he probably realized that he had not found the right woman.

The young Barry and I also had the habit of picking on people that were bigger than us. There was a certain redneck crowd in Manassas that liked to congregate, get intoxicated and raise hell. One time, Barry and I had stopped at the 7-11 to refill on burritos and Nehis back when soda bottles used to be made of glass! At the other end of the parking lot stood that same group of rednecks that were drunken and were yelling at everything/everyone that passed by…including US! Barry was behind the wheel and initiated the drive-by and I smashed the bottle of Nehi in the center of their little soirée! Of course we hauled-ass before they could don their rods and catch us! They would have killed us!

Back in 1982/3, Captain D's actually sold BEER on tap! After closing in the evenings, the managers used to serve it to whoever wanted to drink! Renee was a very good friend of Barry and I and also a counter girl at Captain D's. She sooo loved closings for this reason! It was sort of an incentive to get us to work faster and get all the work done so the managers could lock the doors and go home and it worked! Yes, all of this was illegal, minors were drinking beer and of-age managers were contributing to the delinquency of minors! I am allowed to reveal this illegal activity only because the seven-year statute of limitations passed in 1990 so no of-age manager can be charged for past violations!

One of the assistant managers had a black 1979 t-top Trans-Am which was a VERY nice ride back then. He, young Barry and Tom (another fry-cook) had been drinking during closing and wanted me to take a Trans-Am cruise with them up to Fairfax to scope for women! I really hadn't acquired the taste for any sort of alcohol at that age and really did not drink very much at all (not like in college or the Army). That night I was sober, but I rode along for the ride and the women!

Our assistant manager was driving us up Route 29 when the blue-lights turned-on behind us and proceeded to perform the pullover! The first question out of the officer's mouth was 'how much have you had to drink tonight, sir?' The officer asked all of us because he could smell the beer. Because I hadn't had anything to drink and because our manager (the driver) was not legally intoxicated, the officer was cool enough to allow me to drive everyone home in the assistant manager's Trans-Am! I finally got to drive that baby!

The aforementioned "not-so-great moments of stupid youth tricks" are just a few examples of some of our antics and I am fortunate that we all survived them. By no means did such antics comprise the majority of our time spent together; we were just young.

There were many times that Barry and I would just take-off on the open road and discuss our futures such as what colleges we were planning to attend and how we were going to pull-off raking in the big bucks once we finished. We spent a lot of time washing our cars, working-out at the gym and listening to LOTS of classic rock tracks! The young Barry was a bit wild at times, but really was serious about life and working hard to get where he wanted to be in life. He was also very calm and collected unless provoked or cornered. The few times I ever witnessed someone even managing to piss-off the young Barry…WATCH OUT and God rest their soul!

Not long after our senior year started; it ended. Time went by so rapidly. In June of 1983, we graduated. Barry and I crossed paths a few more times before heading off to college during that summer, but both of us really did spend much of that time preparing ourselves for the changes that were about to affect our lives in the upcoming fall.

From that point onward, Barry and I made feeble attempts to correspond with each other during the next two decades of trials and tribulations, but those times were few and so far between. We were guys and guys just do not write each other as much as women.

After I joined the Army in 1988, there was a short timeframe when Barry and I were actually able to hook-up for a beer or two or three, discuss old times and catch-up on past experiences that had occurred in our lives since last we met. And yes, those discussions included each other's progress on meeting the right woman, but not yet…

In the year of our Lord 199-something, I finally received word from Barry reporting from Andrew's Air Force Base. He stated that he believed that he finally met the woman that he wanted to marry and that woman is your mother. This was the first and only time that I ever heard the ' certain' words from Barry! I was so excited to learn that after all those years of searching. Again, we went on with our lives and the years slipped by. I would correspond with Barry on two more occasions; once to report my marriage to my perfect match and the last time in December of 2004 to wish each other a Merry Christmas. He sent a few images and was very proud of his son…
You and I have a lot in common, Evan. I was twelve years of age when my own father passed away in 1977 following a very long and painful loss in a battle against Leukemia (bone marrow cancer). I want you to know that your father was and is very proud of you.

I want to wish you a perfect graduation and a perfect life from one of your father's best friends. I have enclosed a little something for you to spend on whatever you decide. I wish that it was more and if I was as wealthy as Jimmy Buffett, you would have free college until graduation because Barry's son deserves the best! It is an honor to know you, Evan"…





  • Created by: Captain Maynard
  • Added: 20 Dec 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 63154939
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Barry Thomas “Butch” Kuske (3 Jul 1965–7 Oct 2005), Find A Grave Memorial no. 63154939, citing Evangeline Memorial Gardens, Carencro, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, USA ; Maintained by Captain Maynard (contributor 46613855) .