Nov. 19, 1924 – July 8, 2015
John Barnes, a Navy veteran and salesman for Curtiss-Wright Corp., died July 8. He was 90.
Known to friends and family as “Jack,” Mr. Barnes was born on Buffalo’s West Side during the Depression.
He sold newspapers and worked many part-time jobs during high school to help support his large family with nine siblings. He graduated from Holy Angels Collegiate Institute in 1943 and, as a student, won numerous awards for his essay writing.
Mr. Barnes enlisted in the Navy at age 18. He served as a radioman 1st class on the destroyer USS Brister. During his military service, the Brister was involved in several battles, including at Guadalcanal, Okinawa and the Japanese surrender of the Island of Formosa, now Taiwan.
He recalled in stories the “awesome and somewhat disconcerting” sight of more than 100,000 Japanese troops standing at attention and bowing during their surrender in World War II. He also saw active duty as a radioman during the Korean War.
Mr. Barnes attended Canisius College on the GI Bill and graduated in 1950. He worked for the Curtiss-Wright Corp. as a salesman for 35 years, selling military hardware products to the government, as well as to ship and aircraft builders. He retired in the late 1980s.
He enjoyed boating and fishing, especially fishing trips he took with his sons throughout the United States and Canada. He also traveled extensively with his wife of 60 years, the former Marian Basty.
Mr. Barnes was a life member of the VFW Morin Post. He volunteered as a Junior Achievement mentor, as well as at the Salvation Army and at the soup kitchen of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
In addition to his wife, survivors include two sons, Richard and Steve; a sister, Joan Holland; and five grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:15 a.m. July 29 in Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, 4220 Seneca St., West Seneca. Burial will be private.