John Edward Barry, raised by a foster family in Mexico, Maine, was the son of Thomas Barry and Dorothy Mullaly of Portland. High school students at the time of the pregnancy, Thomas and Dorothy divorced soon after John was born. Farnum Bishop and his wife, Fannie, took over guardianship and raised him in Mexico with their two boys.
Barry attended St. Theresa's Catholic School, and Mexico High School, and then joined the U.S. Marine Corps. A suitcase containing this birth record, baby shoes, baby hair, letters home from the War, photographs of his birth parents, his Social Security card, and a number of other items related to his life was discovered in the attic of the Rangeley Inn around 2003. The suitcase was eventually donated to the Mexico Historical Society.
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