New Paltz surgeon dies in pandemic

Dr. Barry Webber, a rock-climbing New Paltz resident and New York City-based surgeon, died on April 18 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan after catching the novel coronavirus. Webber’s hands were an essential part of his being: in a New York Times obituary published just this week, he is described as a gardener and tinker as well as surgeon and climber. He considered becoming a classical pianist before opting for medicine as a career. He was 67.

He was working at Mount Sinai Queens in the epicenter of the pandemic in this country. His wife, Harriet Clark Webber, told reporters that the doctor was concerned he would get the virus.

He’s been remembered by colleagues online for his positive attitude and dedication to saving lives, for his kindness and for his skill. He is also lauded for his talent as a father. He and Clark Webber married in 1996 and had two sons, who also survive him.


Born to a Canadian father and British mother, Webber attended a number of high schools in his youth, spent time hiking in the Pacific Northwest, and learning at a Buddhist monastery before completing a music degree at Occidental College. He graduated medical school from Georgetown in 1982.