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Don J. Barnes, 81, retired State Police captain

Sept. 17, 1937 – April 1, 2019

Don J. Barnes, of Hamburg, a retired State Police captain, died April 1 after a brief illness. He was 81.

Born in Lackawanna, he came from a law enforcement family. His uncle, Floyd Barnes, was Hamburg police chief and his father, Kenneth Barnes, was a policeman in Blasdell before he became a Hamburg town official.

A 1955 graduate of Manlius Military Academy in Syracuse, Mr. Barnes served in the National Guard for two years, then three years of active duty in Army. Stationed in Germany, he worked in intelligence services and attained the rank of corporal.

Returning from service, he attended the New York State Police Academy, which then was at the state fairgrounds in Syracuse, and graduated first in his class in 1962.

First assigned to Watertown and then to State Police stations across the state, he was promoted to sergeant in 1970, then became an investigator in 1973 and lieutenant the following year.

He became a captain with Troop A in Batavia in 1981 and retired with that rank in 1989. During his final years, he was Police Benevolent Association representative.

Among troopers, he was known as “Captain Disaster” because he was trained to deal with hazardous materials and was called handle hazardous spills and other dangerous situations.

In retirement, Mr. Barnes joined with a State Police colleague, Major Jack Gleason, to form a private detective agency, Barnes and Gleason Investigative, which they operated for 10 years.

A 32nd degree Mason, he was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed his family’s summer home on Chautauqua Lake.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, the former Lorraine Janicki, who is retired from the accounting department at the law firm Damon Morey; a son, Kenneth; a daughter, Wendy; a sister, Bonnie Hines; and two grandchildren.

A memorial gathering with military honors will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. May 18 in Lombardo Funeral Home, 3060 Abbott Road, Orchard Park.

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