Barr remembered as 'true gentleman'

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Former Lions defensive back and receiver Terry Barr, a rookie on Detroit's last championship team in 1957, has died. He was 73.

Barr died Thursday at his Bloomfield Hills home after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, said team spokesman Tim Pendell.

"Terry Barr was a true gentleman," Lions president Tom Lewand said in a statement released by the team. "Not only was he an outstanding player throughout his career with the Lions, University of Michigan and Grand Rapids Central, but he was a genuinely kind and endearing man. Anyone who had the honor of knowing Terry loved him."

Barr was a standout football and track athlete at Grand Rapids Central High School and a Michigan state champion in the 440-yard run in 1952 and 1953. He attended the University of Michigan, where he played defensive back and running back.

He was a third-round draft pick in 1957 and played defensive back for the Lions, returning an interception for a touchdown in the team's 59-14 NFL title game over the Cleveland Browns.

Barr later switched to receiver and made two Pro Bowl appearances, in 1963 and 1964. He played nine seasons with the Lions and ranks 12th among Lions receivers, with 227 catches, 3,810 yards and 35 touchdowns.

"I don't think Terry ever dropped a ball," fellow Lions receiver Gail Cogdill said. "My kids just loved him. I loved him. He had great speed and was a class man and leader."

Barr retired after the 1965 season and went into business.

Barr is survived by his wife Shelley; sons Brian, Alan and Terrence; and their families. Funeral arrangements were pending.