Hundreds Remember Times with Barry Family at Vigil; Public Invited to Funeral May 1st

The surviving family is inviting the public to the funeral services for their four loved ones on May 1st at the Marshall School Auditorium starting at 1 p.m.

DULUTH, Minn.- To see the impact Sean, Rianna, Shiway, and Sadie Barry had on the people of Duluth, one need only look at the hundreds who gathered outside their house Sunday night to share in their grief and their memories.

“The Christmas lights you see here tonight are a symbol of their values of love family and kindness,” Duluth Council President Arik Forsman said. “And that is what we are here to celebrate tonight because that is their legacy.”

Forsman was neighbors with them in Lakeside. “We’d frequently see them playing together in the yard and I enjoyed chatting with Rianna and the girls as we went about our lives together on the same block on McCulloch Street.”

The Council President announced on Twitter Monday that the surviving family is inviting the public to the funeral services for their four loved ones on May 1st at the Marshall School Auditorium starting at 1 p.m.

On Sunday, the Barrys’ relatives stood by as a friend of the family, Jason Erickson, read a statement they prepared for the community, joining in their mourning.

“The families of Rianna and Sean thank the community friends and family for their ongoing support through this unimaginable tragedy,” said Erickson.

“And ultimately, nothing said here today fully encapsulates the magical family lost this week,” he said.

Police Chief Mike Tusken said had never seen a homicide involving as many people.

On Wednesday Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad, 29, the family’s nephew and cousin, shot the 4 while they slept, before taking his own life at the residence on 715 East 12th Street.

“This has been a tragic week for our community but this close-knit family’s legacy is one of hope light and love,” said Forsman.

In the days following the tragedy, the surviving family members helped friends and neighbors of the Barry’s decorate the house with bright Christmas lights — something the Barry’s always loved no matter the season.

“We wish to honor them, show them the respect and love we had for them,” Thor Pakosz, who knew the family since 2017, said through tears.

“Their company was very positive, uplifting, and vitalizing. We would go camping and spend time out of doors we would sit and eat food and share with one another and we did so on Easter together,” Pakosz said.

And in the spirit of the Barry’s own kindness, the vigil remained a community effort Sunday.

“May we move forward being better people for knowing them,” Erickson read. “Become a better neighbor, help someone in need, respect the person next to you just because they’re next to you.”

Ross Eaton lives across 12th Street and knew the Barry’s since they moved there a few years ago.

He laid out refreshments donated by super one for those attending the vigil.

“I’ll always remember how kind the girls were,” said Eaton. “The littlest one really a chatterbox and she loved our dog.”

“We’re really going to miss them around here,” he said.

All memories, that all shined as bright as the candles and lights illuminating the neighborhood.

“The lights in the world seem a little dimmer without the joy Sean, Rianna, Shiway, and Sadie brought to their family and community,” said Erickson.

The family has a GoFundMe set up online to pay for expenses relating to the funeral, memorial, travel, and other costs due to the aftermath of the situation.

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