'Everybody loved Barry': Former Aztec Magistrate Court Judge Barry Sharer dead at 55

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Aztec Magistrate Court Judge Barry Sharer presides over a preliminary hearing on July 11, 2019 in Aztec. Sharer, 55, died on July 26.

FARMINGTON — Former Aztec Magistrate Court Judge Barry Sharer died on July 26. He was 55.

"Everybody loved Barry," Bill Sharer said about his younger brother, who was first elected to the magistrate court in 2008 and ran unopposed each election until resigning shortly before his death.

Barry Sharer was born on June 2, 1965 in Farmington, where his parents, Ralph and Helen Sharer, showed him and his brothers and a sister the importance of serving the community.

Bill Sharer, who represents San Juan County in the state Senate, described his brother as easygoing with a great sense of humor and a well-respected judge.

"When he made a ruling, everybody believed that was the right ruling – even if they were on the opposite of the ruling. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys, I think, had a great deal of respect for him," Bill Sharer said.

He explained that being fair and honest was ingrained in his brother and was practiced throughout his career in law enforcement and on the bench.

A condolence message posted on the web page for Barry Sharer's obituary thanked him for being "a fair and honest judge."

Prior to being elected to the bench, he worked as an officer with the Bloomfield Police Department and as a deputy with the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.

He was a lifelong comic book collector, an interest that started at 7 or 8 years old, according to Bill Sharer.

"He was – let's put it this way – an avid collector. Probably has one of the most impressive comic book collections, certainly in San Juan County but maybe the entire state," Bill Sharer said.

By far, Marvel comics were the favorite with Spider-Man being the favorite superhero.

"He had a very impressive collection of ties too," Bill Sharer said with a chuckle then listed characters that ranged from Underdog to Captain America.

"He wore a cartoon tie every day. He was a very, very serious judge with cartoon ties," Bill Sharer said adding they will wear his brother's Spider-Man ties at the Aug. 7 funeral.

Barry Sharer resigned from the court shortly before he died, his brother explained.

Last month, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's office called for applications to fill Sharer's seat.

Bill Sharer recalled his brother's decision to run for election in 2008, saying, "he wanted to continue as a community servant … he thought that was the right place for him."

Rosary will be at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 7 and Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Aug. 7, both at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 2100 E. 20th Street in Farmington.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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