San Francisco Chronicle
September 5, 2021
Barry Wade Ongerth passed away on Sept 5, 2021 after a courageous battle with esophageal cancer. Raised in Hillsborough, Barry lived the last 40 years in Burlingame and was a familiar face to many. He was an athlete and an avid sports fan. His lifetime devotion to sports started as a young child, playing any sport that involved a ball. He attended 49er games with his father at Kezar and Candlestick, and continued to Levi Stadium with his wife Tina. Tina was always amazed that he would call the play before the announcer. Attending three 49er Superbowls, fans gathered around him as he described the set-up of the next play. As a Cal Bears ticket holder, it was mostly about catching up with old and new friends at the tailgate and traveling to away games. He attended Warrior games through good and bad teams, some seasons missing but a few games and even traveling to see them play on the road. Finally he was rewarded with the recent Championship years.
Barry was a proud Cal Berkeley graduate, majoring in Art History which continued to be his passion as he and Tina traveled around the world with many dear friends and family. He was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, forming lifetime friendships with his Brothers and looked forward to the annual Big Game Phi Psi Lunch. With Tina, Barry transformed the Travelodge in Millbrae to the highly-ranked boutique hotel, The Dylan. He was past Chairman of the Travelodge Board and the San Mateo County Visitors Bureau. He was also very active in tourism committees supporting airport travel. He was a donor of the San Francisco Fine Arts Museum and Peninsula Humane Society. He loved art and acquired a complete collection of the original Fillmore and Avalon Rock Posters. Barry loved animals. Dogs always sensed he would drop a tidbit or two. Mostly, he loved his cats. He had a special bond with Balboa. Jessie had him wrapped around her little paw, and Cole just melted his heart.
Top Ten Little Known Facts about Barry: 1. He once was a 5-6th grade teacher 2. He was the leading scorer on his Burlingame High Basketball team 3. He was crowned Best Dancer in high school 4. His favorite artist was Hieronymus Bosch 5. He remembered people’s first and last names
6. He once owned a Volvo station wagon 7. His favorite singer was Marty Balin 8. He brought two 10-lb weights in his suitcase to Australia
9. He was sentimental 10. He let his cat, Cole, eat off his plate
Top Ten Well-Known Facts about Barry: 1. He was handsome 2. He was intelligent 3. He was an incredible listener and enjoyed a good conversation about anything 4. He had a great sense of humor 5. He never left the house not looking his best 6. He encouraged those around him to look their best 7. He was a loyal friend 8. He loved music 9. He loved to workout 10. He was just fun to be around
Along with his wife Tina (Christina Andreoli Ongerth), Barry is survived by his sister Susan Woodell Mascall of Burlingame, his niece and nephew Keelin and Colin Woodell of Los Angeles, and many more loving in-laws, nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Life for Barry will be held Oct 10, 2021; 1:30PM at The Dylan Hotel. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The San Francisco Fine Arts Museum, Pets in Need or the Peninsula Humane Society.