A Sad Farewell To One Of Our Own

Aug 17, 2018

Barry Cameron Lauesen passed away in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 10, 2018. Barry was born June 25, 1947 in Los Angeles, California to Lowell Lee Lauesen and Jean Menzies Lauesen, daughter of Oscar-winning production designer and film director William Cameron Menzies. 

His father majored in music at UCLA, so Barry grew up with a piano and a marimba in the living room. The family made annual trips to UCLA football games. Barry played on the local little league team, became an avid surfer nicknamed “the Silent Reef,” and learned to play the guitar. Barry attended UC Santa Barbara, where he met his first wife Susan Scarberry. He received a BA in English in 1970. They moved to New Mexico in 1971 where Barry earned a Masters of English at UNM.

In 1973, Barry and friend Karl Stalnaker created the KUNM radio program “Home of Happy Feet” deep in the basement of the Student Union Building. A few years later, Barry fell in love with his second wife, Marilyn Altenbach. Marilyn joined the radio team creating the trio that produced over 2000 shows, making “Home of Happy Feet” an icon of New Mexico broadcast history. Barry’s quiet, unassuming voice, sense of humor and love of the music informed and entertained.  Barry and Karl continued the show until Barry’s last, just three days prior to his passing.

Barry and Marilyn built a life full of friends and family in Albuquerque’s South Valley. In addition to raising Marilyn’s son Chris, they were stewards of many dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, pigs, orchards and gardens. Barry and Marilyn were accomplished musicians and members of the Stucco Sisters band, where Barry became fondly known as the “Stucco Stud.” Barry was employed at the Book Stop in Nob Hill from the late 1980s until its closing. He was an incurable follower of many types of sports, especially baseball, basketball and tennis.  Barry had an insatiable love of music and literature and left behind an extensive library of recorded music and books. Barry was preceded in death by his parents. He lost his beloved wife and partner Marilyn Altenbach in 2014. He is survived by his sister Pamela Lauesen, and brother in law, George Goad of North Hollywood, California, his stepson Chris Altenbach and wife Kim Ward, and grandchildren Scott and Eliza Altenbach. Before his passing, Barry was blessed with meeting his youngest grandchild, Wren Cameron Ward, born July 8, 2018.
 KUNM will share details here on any scheduled services.