City Heartbroken Over Death Of Mayor Barry's Son

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 19:40:27-04

One day after losing her only son to an apparent drug overdose, Mayor Megan Barry left her house to buy a cup of coffee at her neighborhood coffee shop, a testament friends said, to a woman and mother who has chosen to find strength during her most personal time of loss.

John Ray Clemmons just happened to be at the coffee shop Monday morning.

"All I could think about was how much strength it must have taken to get out of bed and continue her daily routine. It really personified the mayor as a woman, as a person and as a mother in general," said Clemmons who is a state Representative and also lives in the same neighborhood as Mayor Barry.

As a father of three boys though, he struggled to find words that could somehow express his disbelief and pain after learning Max Barry, the Mayor's son, had died at 22.

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"When you go through something personal like this, how could it not change you?" he said.

At City Hall of Monday, a small bouquet of black and white flowers sat next to a small ledger with a note which read "Please feel free to sign the guest book and leave a note for Mayor Barry on the loss of her son, Max."

Through out the day strangers could be seen leaving words of compassion and encouragement for the Mayor and her husband Bruce.

"She won’t get beyond it, you don’t get beyond things like this. You don’t want to but she’ll come back and do the job she needs to do because that’s the kind of person she is," close friend and Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry said.

"I know she’ll find a way to work through this," he added.