Chester Park improvements to honor late Barry family

In memory of the Barry family, killed in their Duluth home by a family member in 2022, a fundraising event will be held Saturday to improve Chester Park.

A family portrait of Sean, Shiway, Riana and Sadie Barry.
Pictured are Sean, Shiway, Riana and Sadie Barry. A memorial at Chester Park is planned to honor the slain Duluth family.
Contributed / Barry Family Memorial

DULUTH — Just over a year after the Barry family was killed in their home, community members and relatives have come together in coordination with the city of Duluth to honor them with a memorial and improvements to Chester Park.

For the late family of four, Chester Park served as a beloved destination where the Barry children played while their parents socialized.

A girl in a pink and blue hoodie with wings poses at a playground
Sadie Barry is pictured in her dragon costume at Chester Park.
Contributed / Barry Family Memorial

Loved ones said the park, about a mile from their home in the East Hillside neighborhood, was where 12-year-old Shiway Barry could swing and contemplate life for hours at the playground, while 9-year-old Sadie Barry spun around or played in the sand. Both girls would join in group games in the field.

Over the years, Chester Park became the place the girls' parents, Riana and Sean Barry, grew in their community and friendships as the family met there weekly for homeschool park days.

Police said Riana and Sean Barry's nephew, Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad, 29, shot dead the four relatives, a dog and then himself on April 20, 2022. Authorities believe he was previously living with the family.


Fundraising event and silent auction

A benefit will be held Saturday from 3-6 p.m. at The Other Place Bar and Grill at 3930 E. Calvary Road. The event will include a pasta bar dinner, silent auction and bake sale, as well as sticker- and coloring-book sales.

The cover of a book with the title "Sadie's Book of Dragons" with a child's colorful drawings of tadpole-like dragons.
The front cover of "Sadie's Book of Dragons" Coloring Book was designed by Sadie Barry. Inside is Sadie's artwork, as well as the 78 drawings contributed by the community.
Contributed / Alyssa Swanson

The coloring book was created and designed by Sadie's private art teacher, Alyssa Swanson of Cloquet, with help from Ashley K. Timms. It includes Sadie's original drawings, as well as 78 drawings contributed by friends, family and young artists.

"As we sculpted with polymer clay together, Sadie taught me all about the mythical creatures she had conjured up. She had a particular love for dragons, and she had created an entire taxonomy of them. They each had special diets, habitats and temperaments. She would describe in detail their scales or fur, how they hunted, and what their role in the ecosystem was. She was working on a handmade book that was called 'The Book of Dragons.' To keep her beautiful and pure spirit of creativity alive, I am creating a coloring book in her memory," Swanson said.

A child's drawing on notebook paper, with the words: "Mudskipper a semi-aquatic with a diet of fish. Habitat = islands. Very rare with multiple varients."
An original drawing of the late 9-year-old Sadie Barry of Duluth.
Contributed / Alyssa Swanson

Pre-orders for "Sadie's Book of Dragons" coloring book were available online through 7 p.m. Sunday, May 14.

"We have raised over $1,000 through the coloring book already," Swanson said.

Sadie Barry's hand drawing in green marker of a Spieutul dragon which reads, "They are peaceful little things and they don't need food."
An original drawing of the late 9-year-old Sadie Barry of Duluth.
Contributed / Alyssa Swanson

Donations are also being accepted for the silent auction by contacting

"Over $10,000 in community donations have been received so far for the silent auction," said Britinee Janson, volunteer and family friend of the Barry's homeschool community.

Additionally, a GoFundMe for the memorial at Chester Park is accepting donations, with 49 donors raising $4,023 of the $22,000 goal as of Sunday morning.


Five stickers displayed on a wood table.
Stickers inspired by the Barry family will be available for $5 each at the fundraising event.
Contributed / Barry Family Memorial

"We are thrilled to be moving forward with this project, honoring this dear family while contributing to the community of Duluth and a park they loved," according to the GoFundMe organized by Elizabeth Salmela, Halee Schlangen on behalf of Anjela Ayllon, Riana's sister.

Money raised will be used to replace the spinner element in the playground and fall-zone safety material and edging; add a wheelchair-accessible crushed stone path; install a memorial bench with signage; upgrade a swing bay to include an accessible swing; and more.

Installation is anticipated in July.

Follow the Shiway and Sadie Memorial at Chester Park Facebook page for more information.

To get help

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988 or chat at

Crisis Text Line: Text MN to 741741 

More Lifeline resources:

South St. Louis, Lake, Cook and Carlton counties/Fond du Lac Band: 218-623-1800 or 844-772-4742 

North St. Louis County/Bois Forte Band: 218-288-2100 

Itasca County: 218-326-8565 or 211* 

Koochiching County: 800-442-8565 or 211* 

*St. Louis County 211 services are not crisis-related 

This story was updated at 2:47 p.m. May 18 to correct the name of the person who designed and created the coloring book. This story was originally published at 9:37 a.m. May 14. The News Tribune regrets the error.

Brielle Bredsten is the business reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.

She earned a bachelor's degree in Professional Writing & Technical Communication, with minors in Advertising and Creative Writing from Metropolitan State University, in addition to a two-year professional paid internship as reporter/editor of the student newspaper.

She is an award-winning professional writer, photographer and editor based in rural Minnesota. Over the past decade, Brielle Bredsten has contributed more than 1,000 articles, feature stories, non-profit press-releases, photographs and columns. Her work has been published in several community newspapers.

Send her story tips, feedback or just say hi at
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