Bernard Barnes, 87

June 26, 1929 - Dec. 16, 2016
Bernard Barnes,  June 26, 1929 - Dec. 16, 2016

Bernard A. Barnes, a longtime teacher and art director in the Newburgh City, N.Y., School District who spent summers on Gardiner Drive in Amagansett for more than 50 years, died of cardiopulmonary arrest on Dec. 16 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He was 87 and had been ill for a week.

Mr. Barnes began teaching art in Newburgh City in 1960 and became the school district’s art director 10 years later, serving in that role until his retirement in 1984.

“Throughout his life, Bernie enjoyed sharing his life, knowledge, and skills with his family and friends,” wrote one of his daughters, Bernadette Wiggin of Poughkeepsie and Springs. “His talent and love of art and photography were passed along to his daughters who, from the time they were young, spent many hours taking pictures and developing them in the darkroom that was set up in the family’s home.”

He was born on June 26, 1929, in New York City to Walter Barnes and the former Katherine (Kazimiera) Sobeka. He studied science at Stuyvesant High School in the city, graduating in 1948, and attended Ithaca College for two years before joining the Air Force, in which he served from 1951 to 1954 and rose to staff sergeant.

After his military service, Mr. Barnes went to the State University of New York at New Paltz. There, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1957 and a Master of Science three years later, both in art education. He also earned certification in school administration and supervision there.

Mr. Barnes and Christine Gallo, whom he had met at Ithaca College, were married on Aug. 23, 1959, at the Church of the Holy Rosary in the Bronx. After leaving the Air Force, Mr. Barnes moved to Highland, N.Y., where Mrs. Barnes had settled earlier. The couple raised two daughters there, and began spending summers and vacations in Amagansett in 1959. He and his wife enjoyed hosting dinners and holiday gatherings for friends and family in Highland and Amagansett. She died in 2014.

After his retirement, Mr. Barnes continued to teach and he also enjoyed home improvement projects. His daughters often worked with him on roofing, ceramic tiling, painting, and  projects at their own residences. He shared the knowledge with others, his daughter wrote.

Mr. Barnes and his wife and two daughters and sons-in-law had traveled together, visiting Italy, Great Britain, the Southwest United States, Hawaii, and Florida.

In addition to Ms. Wiggin, Mr. Barnes’s other daughter, Patricia Barnes of Palenville, N.Y., survives, as does a sister, Wanda Gooch of York, Pa. Another sister died before him.

A memorial service and burial in Highland Cemetery will be held at a later date. His family has suggested memorial contributions to the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, P.O. Box 901, Wainscott 11975, or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at lls.org.