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Gregory Barrack '84 March 30, 2024 9:26 AM updated: March 30, 2024 9:35 AM

COL Gregory Van Barrack 

April 5, 1963 - January 27, 2024 

It is with great sorrow we announce that Gregory Van Barrack, a husband, father and friend passed on January 27, 2024. Greg was born to be a soldier. Always a soldier he was. He joined the Army after college, and when most of his peers were taking office jobs, he went to infantry school, then airborne school, then Ranger school. He was a combat veteran.

Soldiering is a demanding life, an austere life, where death is always in your thoughts. It’s hard on the soldier and hard on the soldier’s family, but soldier he did, and in that time his wife Jonna soldiered with him, and to them were born three beautiful children, the ultimate joy of all soldiers. Children give new meaning to the lives of soldiers, whom they have sworn to protect, and those children were a son Nathaniel, daughter Katya, and son Reik.

Many cannot weather the high demands of soldiering, not for long, but Greg did it for thirty years, in the jungles of Panama and many other countries. Much of his work was top secret and will never be known, but we know Greg did it well, as he honorably retired a full-bird Colonel.

But his life of service did not end there. When he finally had a chance to join the ranks of his peers in the civilian world and to apply his hard earned skills to get a high paying job in the corporate world, he opted instead to be a teacher, a high school ROTC instructor, because he believed deeply that all hope lay in our nation’s children and their education, that we must instill in them values which would allow them and our nation to succeed. He was passionate about this work. He loved his students.

Greg was preceded in death by his brother James and his father Jim. He is survived by his wife Jonna Barrack, oldest son Nathaniel James, brave daughter Katya, youngest son Reik, daughter-in-law Lia, mother Frances, and his beloved granddaughters Ada and Nora.

Greg is gone but not forgotten. He is and shall ever be in the hearts of the family, friends, soldiers and students that knew and served alongside him. We salute you Colonel Barrack.


Visitation will be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, on Friday, February 9th at Floral Haven Funeral Home. The family warmly welcomes all to attend the graveside service with full military honors at 10:00 AM, Saturday, February, 10th, at Floral Haven Memorial Gardens. Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, February 10th, at Evergreen Baptist Church, Bixby. Child care will be provided at the church during the Celebration of Life service.


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