July 30, 1923 â€“ January 18, 2016
Gordon Hensley Barrows, 92, died on January 18 at his home in Ralston with family and caregivers at his side. His grand spirit, sense of humor and love of life was infectious and will be missed by all who knew him.
Gordon was born July 30, 1923 to Harry and Margaret (Hensley) Barrows in Billings, Montana. He grew up in Ralston, went to school in Powell and graduated from the University of Wyoming before joining the army as a medic in World War II and participating in the D-Day invasion of Europe.
After the war he completed a masters degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He went to work for Standard Oil in California and then, seeking adventure, went to live in Mallorca, Spain for two years where he worked as a spear fisherman. He returned to the US and went seeking his destiny in New York City in 1954. He became managing editor of the World Petroleum Report in 1955 and then founded the Barrows Company in 1962. The Barrows Company, based in Ralston with an office in Manhattan, established the worldâ€™s most comprehensive international reference library for oil, gas and mineral laws and contracts. For over 30 years up to seven devoted local employees staffed the Ralston shop where they printed, bound and shipped the journals sold by the Barrows Company. Gordon was fluent in several languages and traveled ceaselessly around the world meeting with political leaders and petroleum industry executives. He was one of the founders of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators and received a special lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the industry.
Later he became an avid patron of the theater, classical arts and Western art. In New York he met and married the love of his life, Barbara â€œBobbiâ€ Martin, a former fashion model and textile designer, in 1968 and they remained happily married for 37 years until her death in 2005.
Gordon ran in the Wyoming Republican Senate primary race in 1978, losing to future long-time senator Alan Simpson with whom he remained lifelong friends. Gordon also served on various boards of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody for 25 years and was a trustee of the center since 2000. He enjoyed raising horses with his wife Bobbi and visiting The Natural Corral, a beautiful and storied place of wilderness purchased by his father in 1930.
Gordon is survived by his brother Gerard (Sheila), two nephews David (significant other Niina, sons Gordon and Brenden)and Kevin (Amy) Barrows and niece Elizabeth (Carrie) Wallace, all in California and Oregon.
In lieu of flowers, for mourners who wish to contribute to any of Gordonâ€™s favorite causes, donations may be sent to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, The Natural Corral Foundation, Northwest College in Powell or the Metropolitan Opera Foundation in New York.
Memorial service (2pm) and reception (3-6pm) will be held at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West on Sunday, January 24th.