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In Memoriam: Gordon Barrows

Click here to download the In Memoriam Article from AIPN's April 2016 Advisor newsletter.

Gordon was AIPN’s first luncheon speaker, presenting in October 1982. He also served on the AIPN?Board of Directors and provided continued support of AIPN in various forms throughout the years. In spring of 2008, AIPN established the student scholarship program in his honor, which has provided 77 scholarships since its inception.

Gordon Hensley Barrows, 92, died on January 18, 2016, at his home in Ralston with family and caregivers at his side.

His grand spirit, sense of humor and love of life was infectious and will be missed by all who knew him.

Gordon was born July 30, 1923, to Harry and Margaret (Hensley) Barrows in Billings, Mont. He grew up in Ralston, went to school in Powell and graduated from the University of Wyoming before joining the Army as a medic in World War II and participating in the D-Day invasion of Europe.

After the war he completed a masters degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He went to work for Standard Oil in California and then, seeking adventure, went to live in Mallorca, Spain for two years where he worked as a spear fisherman.

He returned to the U.S. and went seeking his destiny in New York City in 1954. He became managing editor of the World Petroleum Report in 1955 and then founded the Barrows Company in 1962.

The Barrows Company, based in Ralston with an office in Manhattan, established the world’s most comprehensive international reference library for oil, gas and mineral laws and contracts. For over 30 years up to seven devoted local employees staffed the Ralston shop where they printed, bound and shipped the journals sold by the Barrows Company.

Gordon was fluent in several languages and traveled ceaselessly around the world meeting with political leaders and petroleum industry executives. He was one of the founders of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators and received a special lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the industry.

Later he became an avid patron of the theater, classical arts and Western art.

In New York he met and married the love of his life, Barbara “Bobbi” Martin, a former fashion model and textile designer, in 1968 and they remained happily married for 37 years until her death in 2005.

Gordon ran in the Wyoming Republican Senate primary race in 1978, losing to future longtime senator Alan Simpson with whom he remained lifelong friends. Gordon also served on various boards of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody for 25 years and was a trustee of the center since 2000.

He enjoyed raising horses with his wife Bobbi and visiting The Natural Corral, a beautiful and storied place of wilderness purchased by his father in 1930.

Gordon is survived by his brother Gerard (Sheila); two nephews David (Niina, great-nephews Gordon and Brenden) and Kevin (Amy) Barrows; and niece Elizabeth (Carrie) Wallace and cousin Bill Hayes, all in California and Oregon.

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