Dameon Welch-Abernathy

In Memoriam: Barry Stiefel

Discussion created by Dameon Welch-Abernathy Moderator on Jun 29, 2017

Many of you will probably recognize the name Barry Stiefel as the founder of CPUG, a well known independent Check Point community that still operates today.

I had gotten word a couple weeks ago from a mutual acquaintance that Barry Stiefel had passed.

Many of us (myself included) benefitted from work he did to inform, educate, and build community.

He will definitely be missed.


Here's a copy of his obituary from Google's Cache (the original article seems to have been removed):

Barry Jay Stiefel, 55, died of a heart attack at his home in Santa Clara, Calif., earlier this month.


A native of the Shongum Lake community in Randolph, during his school days, Barry was a member of his church youth group, sang, played piano and trombone, acted, played sports and competed on a state level in public speaking and math.


He became an Eagle Scout and worked two years as a reporter for The Randolph Reporter while still in high school.

Barry became fascinated by computers early in their development, receiving a scholarship from Carnegie Mellon University in the early ‘80s and eventually receiving BS and MBA degrees from the University of California at Davis.


After college, he became an expert in computer firewalls and network security. He lived in San Francisco for many years, managing his own business, developing teaching materials and traveling over the world leading seminars in his area of specialty. The past two years Barry worked for Palo Alto Networks in Santa Clara, Calif.

He enjoyed travel. Before college, he rode his bicycle across the U.S., traveling from Oregon to Kansas before a knee problem curtailed his trip. He spent a week camping at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. He visited over 1,000 counties in the US.


In another adventure, he set foot in all 50 states in the U.S. within a nine-day period, probably setting a record. He also flew from Singapore on the inaugural flight of Airbus A380, the world's largest airliner, in 2007.

In addition to his career, Barry was a fan of the San Francisco Ballet and Symphony. Barry also had a deep interest in linguistics and history of languages and was studying four languages.

Possessed of a wicked sense of humor, he had fondness for math puzzles, anagrams, palindromes, puns and spoonerisms. He liked to make people laugh and enjoyed sharing jokes and puzzles, something he extended into the publication of his recent book, "How To Win at Pentago: The Complete Visual Guide for Advancing from Beginner to Master in the Five-in-a-Row Board Game That’s Sweeping the World." He wrote and co-authored six books overall.


Barry lived every day with purpose and honesty. His legacy will be his kindness to many people – especially to immigrants – whom he helped find jobs, loaned money, taught to drive and accompanied to court and doctors.

Barry is mourned by his parents, Kenneth and Joyce Stiefel of Randolph. In addition to his parents, Barry leaves behind his sister, Holly June Stiefel, and his brother Brian, and Brian’s wife and two daughters. He maintained a special relationship with cousins and close friends. There will be a memorial service at a later date in the Presbyterian Church of Morris Plains.


Cremation was at Santa Clara Funeral and Cremation Service, 1386 N Winchester Blvd, San Jose, Calif.