B. Devereux Barker III, 82, of Manchester, passed away peacefully on June 16. Born in Boston, Dev spent childhood summers in Marblehead, where he discovered his lifelong love of sailing at the Pleon and Eastern Yacht Clubs. After attending Noble and Greenough School, Dev graduated from Harvard in 1960, and then completed a two-year stint in the Navy. Soon after discharge, he found himself aboard America’s Cup defense-candidate Easterner, as a winch grinder. While Easterner was not successful, the experience provided his first sustained exposure to larger boats and offshore sailing.
In 1963, Dev joined the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) Race Committee, and in 1968 became its Chairman. At the time he had a full-time job as an editor at Yachting magazine, two young children, and barely sufficient experience—in his opinion—to manage the America’s Cup in just a year’s time. But it was a challenge he relished and became the subject of a book he published later in life, which detailed how the then-31-year-old led the NYYC Race Committee through the controversial decision to disqualify Australia’s Gretel ll from the second race of the 1970 America’s Cup regatta. The incident not only generated significant passions around the world, but also resulted in a fundamental change in the way America’s Cup racing was thereafter adjudicated.
In his personal life, Dev was committed to supporting his alma maters, serving as his Nobles class secretary for many years and co-chairing several Harvard College reunions. He also provided invaluable leadership to the Triform Camphill Community, a residential community for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Hudson, NY. Dev served as chair of Triform’s Board of Directors for six years and up until his passing, most recently shepherding the community through the challenges of the pandemic. His passion for Triform grew out of his love for his daughter Holly, a long-time member of the Triform community. He is remembered by those who worked alongside him at Triform for his calm and steady presence, his ability to build confidence in others, and his deep respect for the unique contributions and perspectives of those who joined him in upholding Triform’s mission.
Dev was the anchor of his family. While he will be sorely missed, his legacy lives on in those he leaves behind. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Jilda Breed Barker, his five children, B. Devereux Barker IV, Sara Barker Levensohn, William Lake Barker, Holly Gardner Barker and Breton Lamont Barker, and four grandchildren, Philip Gardner Levensohn, Emma Logan Levensohn, Claire Lamont Barker and Miles Devereux Barker.
The memorial service will be private. Dev’s family will plan a celebration of his life at a later date. Donations in Dev’s memory may be made to The Triform Camphill Community. To donate: https://www.triform.org/donate.