03/17/05 — EDWARD C. BARRETT

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GREENVILLE, N.C. — Edward Carlton Barrett, Col. (Ret.) USAF, died early Tuesday morning in his home in Greenville.

He was born September 13, 1920, in Como, North Carolina, son of the late Walter Whithead Barrett and Elizabeth Griffin Barrett. He lived in Woodland, N.C., with his mother and grandmother until his graduation from Woodland-Olney High School in 1937.

Prior to World War II, Colonel Barrett graduated from Chowan College in Murfreesboro, N.C., and moved to Portsmouth, Virginia, where he worked in the shipyard with the Navy. He turned down an appointment with the Navy and became an Aviation Cadet in late 1942. His aircraft piloting skills were quickly recognized and he was soon training other pilots. Over his 31-year career, he acquired nearly 8000 ‘flying hours’, in the B-17, B-29, B-36 and B-52 before retiring in 1974 at the age of 53. Other career accomplishments included being selected to compete in the Strategic Air Command bombing competition twice and being the only weaponeer in the U.S. Air Force who was an aircraft commander. He served a four-year assignment at the Pentagon before serving in Vietnam as Chief of Air Operations J-3 Military Assistance Command, Saigon. He was the recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Air Force Merit Commendation, as well as many other military honors, and his career had spanned three wars. That said, what he wished to be remembered most for was ‘making the same number of landings as take-offs’, none of which were more important than the ones he made Tuesday morning.

After retirement, he and his wife, Claire, settled in Goldsboro, N.C., for 28 years, where he participated in the Military Officer’s Association, The Order of the Daedaleons, and was a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason. For many years, he offered his services early each year as part of the VITA program, Volunteers offering Tax Assistance. He also enjoyed many a day ‘on the links’ sharing a game with friends. He often said, "I’ve had the good fortune to have not 1, but 2 ‘holes in one,’ one of which was with a six iron on the very difficult 12th hole at Goldsboro County Club.

He was an avid sportsman in past years, having many a ‘fishing yarn’ to share — and some were true. He was an awesome Bridge player and much sought-after partner for the weekly games at Cypress Glen Retirement Community. He was a ‘dapper’ dresser and always looked like a million bucks. He was ever the Southern gentleman, and his friends there shared, ‘we’ve lost another great warrior.’

He will be remembered for his strong integrity, unwavering faith, loyalty, kindness and courage. Never did these traits shine brighter than in his four-year battle with lung cancer. He accepted ‘the hand he was dealt’ and never felt sorry for himself. He was appreciative and let those who’d helped him know that. He took each chance he had to say ‘thanks’ and to brag about the care from those who cared for him, maintaining his wit, charm, dignity and mental faculties to the end.

His wife of 60 years, Claire Davis Barrett, predeceased him. His daughter, Brenda Claire Barrett and her husband, Verne Keefer, of Virginia Beach, and his son, Bruce Carlton Barrett of Tallahassee, survive him. He has four grandchildren, Mr. G. Kyle Gift and his wife, Amanda, of Virginia Beach, Dr. Barrett W. Gift of Bryan, Texas, Mr. Travis Carlton Barrett of Daytona and Ms. Alexandra "Zan" Barrett of Tallahassee.

Ed and his family have greatly appreciated the friendship, care and support provided by Dr. John Fogarty of Physicians East, Harriett Wilder, R.N., and all staff of 3HC and Kitty Askins Hospice. It is suggested that contributions in his memory be made to First Presbyterian Church of Goldsboro Columbarium Fund, 3HC Hospice Program of Goldsboro and Greenville or Cypress Glen Retirement Community Chapel.

A memorial service will be conducted at First Presbyterian Church, Ash Street, Goldsboro, N.C., at 11 a.m.. Saturday, March 19th. Howell Funeral Home & Crematory is in charge and will provide a visitation service on Friday evening, March 18th, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. A memorial service is being scheduled at Cypress Glen Chapel for the weekend and interment with full military honors will take place at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

(Written & Paid by the Family)

Published in Obituaries on March 17, 2005 2:23 PM