WASHINGTON – With great sadness, the House Committee on Science today announced the death of its longtime chief counsel, Barry C. Beringer.  Barry had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, which was diagnosed early this year.

Barry passed away today at the Arlington Hospice, where he had been moved on Sept. 27.  He is survived by his wife, Bonnie, and his two children, Francis, a sophomore at the College of William and Mary, and Katie, a high school junior.

Barry joined the Committee in 1989, after serving as the associate undersecretary for economic affairs in the U.S. Department of Commerce.  He became chief counsel under Chairman Robert S. Walker of Pennsylvania in 1995.

Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) said, “We all feel Barry’s loss acutely.  Barry had an indispensable sense of the Committee’s history and was an irreplaceable guide through legal issues.  But more importantly, Barry was a warm and decent person, who cared deeply about his family and his colleagues.  In his many years on Capitol Hill, he made only friends.”

Ranking Democratic Member Ralph M. Hall (D-TX) added, “I cannot imagine a more decent human being or a more bipartisan staff member.  Barry will be remembered for his congenial spirit and, even when tension ran high, for his focus on the Nation’s best interests.  Barry was a wonderful mentor to younger staff members and was always available when any Member or staff member needed him.  Both Democrats and Republicans on our Committee have lost a very dear friend.”

Committee Chief of Staff David Goldston said, “Barry was a remarkable person.  He had a wonderful, dry wit that surprised people who didn’t know him well.  He could also catch people off-guard with his passionate feelings about his beliefs and his work.    He had a wide variety of interests and was devoted to his many community projects, especially his work on the Arlington County Republican Committee, his history research, and his work for his alma mater, Dickinson College.  He was an incredibly warm person who worried about others, even at the end when no one could reasonably have expected that of him.  And in ways that surprised even Barry himself, he proved to be extraordinarily strong, and showed enormous courage in handling his illness.  The Science Committee staff will think about him always.” 

Once they are arranged, details regarding the memorial service will be posted at www.house.gov/science .