David Richard Barnes, a longtime resident of East Granby, CT and of Homer, NY, passed away this past Tuesday peacefully.
Born in 1939, Dave grew up in Clairton, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Penn State University with a bachelors and Master’s degree in aerospace engineering in 1962. Passionate about space exploration, he had asked his bride-to-be to go see “We Aim for the Stars”, an otherwise perhaps forgotten movie, not once, but twice. After working briefly for an aircraft manufacturer out west, he got his wish and joined the space program as a young research engineer for what was then called “Space Craft, Incorporated”. Later, as the space program wound down, he joined a company specializing in the manufacturer of helicopters, where he enjoyed working for many years, as a project manager and director of engineering.
Dave was dedicated to community service, to church, and to family, and he enjoyed being an active member of the community. In the mid-70’s, he helped found a volunteer ambulance association to fill a vital need, and eventually years later became a selectman for the town of East Granby, serving for many years. He served as a deacon in the East Granby Congregational Church, and eventually as member of the board of trustees in the Homer Congregational Church, until near the end of his life. His friends and family remember him as being fond of singing hymns, if not always perfectly in tune.
Dave is survived by his wife of 58 years, Anne, their five children David and his wife Melissa, William and his wife Krista, Thomas and his wife Lie-Chyau, John and his wife Lesley, and Natalie Elkins and her husband Jeff), and their eleven grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the East Granby Congregational Church, to the Homer Congregational Church, or to the Salvation Army.
Private graveside services will be held at the convenience of the family. Wright-Beard Funeral Home, Inc. is assisting the family with arrangements.