Barry S. Zehnder, Sr.

Barry S. Zehnder, Sr., passed away peacefully at home on Friday, May 15, 2020, completing his final tour of duty.

Barry was born and raised in Wilmington. He attended P.S. DuPont High School and upon graduation he left for Parris Island, after which he served 5 years in the United States Marine Corps. After returning to Delaware, he began his career as a Newark Police Officer. During that time, he was selected to represent the department at the National FBI Academy and was a member of the 99th graduating class. Barry retired from the Newark Police Department after 21 years of distinguished service, and then went on to serve as an Agent for the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission. In that capacity, he developed and taught the statewide Server Training Program. Barry was also a Freemason and a member of the Delaware Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #4. Throughout his career, Barry was honored and proud to serve his city, state, and country.

Over the course of his lifetime, Barry enjoyed aviation, shooting, boating, all manner of home projects, and woodworking. His passion for flying led him to earn his pilot’s license for airplanes, helicopters, and gliders, and stories of his boating adventures frequently entertained and enthralled his friends and family. Many have been grateful recipients of his craftsmanship. Barry decorated countless lives with practical and beautiful works of art, creating heirloom quality desks, bookcases, cabinets, tables, chairs, custom picture frames, and wind chimes. He was dedicated to maintaining a high level of physical fitness throughout his life, and he could often be found at his local gym even in recent years. Barry’s appetite for reading was insatiable, and he frequented his beloved Bookateria until its closing day.

Throughout the years, Barry enjoyed the companionship of many dogs that would accompany him on hunting trips, walks in the woods, and boating adventures. His genuine sense of compassion even extended to Timber and Bean, two squirrels that he raised after rescuing them from a fallen tree.

Above all, Barry’s greatest pleasure was spending time with family and friends. To know him was to know that no matter what, he would be there if you needed him – always willing to lend a hand, give advice, and offer encouragement. No matter if he was needed as a companion for a cross-country trip, a steadfast cheerleader at a sporting event, or to be there to get his granddaughter off the school bus, he could be relied upon, without question, rain or shine.  

Barry was preceded in death by his mother, Thelma Fitzpatrick; aunt, Doctor Grace Jaynes; uncle, Walter “Bud” Clark; grandson, Ryan; and beloved dog, Snickers. Barry is survived by his devoted wife of 25 years, Betsy; aunt, Betty Clark; son, Barry Zehnder Jr.; daughter-in-law, Nicole; granddaughter, Taylor; and his cherished dogs, Sierra and Shiloh.

A public visitation will be held from 6 pm until 7 pm on Monday, June 1, 2020, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE, in compliance with COVID-19 regulations. A flag presentation will follow by the Newark City Police for Mr. Zehnder’s dedicated service to the department. Services and burial will be held privately at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks you share some measure of your own time and talent with someone in the spirit of generosity that Barry so often exhibited. 


Leave your condolences

Condolences will be posted within 24 hours pending approval.

14 Condolences for Barry S. Zehnder, Sr.

  • It was my pleasure to serve along side Barry as a member of the University of Delaware Police Department. He was a good friend, and an unknowing training for officer during my early years as an officer. He will be missed.

  • He was a pleasure to work with and I am honored he called me his friend. His fitness regimen motivated me to be like him. What a wonderful person and I am sad at his loss.

  • What a great guy and dedicated Newark Police Officer. Barry retired before I started but he was always around and involved. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Zehnder family.

  • I worked with Barry at Newark Police Department. He was always upbeat and fun and easy to talk to. When I first started in 1984, Barry road the motorcycle and always appeared “poster ready” in uniform. Sorry for your loss.

  • Barry was a credit to every position he held: US Marine, CPL Police Officer, Agent for the ABC, Father, Husband, Friend and on. He was a courteous and kind person and a highly professional law enforcement agent. He was always kind to me and one of my favorite Officers on the NPD. God bless you and your family Barry; the world has lost a good man and we’ve lost a good friend.

  • Barry Sr. Was a wonderful father and grandfather. He was a dedicated , fair and respectful police officer during his career with Newark Police Department. He left this world a better place then when he entered it. May God have welcomed him with open arms.

  • Fine police officer and a fine man. Rest well my friend.

  • I loved the commradrie we shared while I was on DSP and lived in Newark, for many years. Rest In Peace Barry. Go with God.

  • Betsy,
    Susan and I were sorry to hear about Barry.


  • We knew Barry briefly and in a different light than the other comments. At that time we had a dog and every day would go to Cedar Swamp Boat ramp and let him run around. Barry would be Snickers and So the same. We exchanged many stories. He was always a joy to talk with and he so loved that dog! May he Rest In Peace!

  • After my Dad died Barry stepped up to the plate and filled in. Keeping me on the straight and narrow. By far the best brother in law a guy could have. Rest easy .Love you man.

  • From the start of my career Barry helped me develop as a police officer and as a person. I could not have asked for a better friend and mentor. I look back on our shared experiences in NPD with fondness – and regret that our paths didn’t cross more often in recent years. His presence made the world a better place.
    With my deepest condolences.

  • It was an honor and privilege serving with Barry for many years on the Newark DE. Police Department. You could always rely on Barry’s cool, calm and even tempered decisions even under the most trying of circumstances. I will miss his greeting and humor at the police range for the retiree certifications.

    We were all young warriors at one time with unbridled energy and dedicated to serving our community by keeping the peace and fighting crime but time is the greatest of all warriors, what it doesn’t destroy it alters beyond recognition till we are a ghost of ourselves. As brothers and sisters on the thin blue line we will always remember the excitement of the good times and the sorrow of the bad. Barry was in the business of protecting the innocent, saving lives and had a positive influenced on a multitude of people and for this Barry left the world a finer place and for that we are all grateful.

  • I worked with Barry when I was in Alderman’s Court. What a great guy. I always enjoyed talking with Barry and I will never forget the time he came into court and threw a rubber snake on my desk. I could not get away from my desk quick enough.
    We laughed about that for many years. So sorry for your loss.