Donald C. Barnett, 87
Donald Charles Barnett, 87, passed away peacefully on April 3, 2018. The cause was lung cancer. A resident of Triangle, Virginia, he was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on December 17, 1930, the son of Helen Potteiger Barnett and Reuben Barnett. Donald grew up in Sinking Spring Pennsylvania and throughout his life he maintained a close connection with his family and kept in touch with his contemporaries by attending reunions and gatherings with his classmates from Sinking Spring High School.
He graduated from Pennsylvania State University while serving in the Army Reserves and later served in the Army in the engineering division. He started a career with the U.S. Geological Survey as a surveyor and cartographer, traveling with his young family all over the eastern United States before settling in Virginia. In the Antarctic summers of 1962-63 and 63-64 he explored and mapped new territory in Antarctica where he had some pretty exciting adventures. Barnett Glacier was named for him. Don became a member of the Antarctic Society and the Explorers Club. Eventually he became Chief of Field Surveys, and Assistant Chief of Eastern Mapping, Atlantic Division, USGS. After retiring from the Survey he worked for 10 years as a park ranger at Leesylvania State Park. He was in on the groundbreaking and planning of the now very popular park on the shores of the Potomac River in Woodbridge, Virginia.
Don was the rock for his family which he took great care of and he was also always willing to help those in need in the neighborhood. His presence was always strong, calming, and unpretentious, with a ready laugh and gentle sense of humor. Well informed about many issues, he would carry on a discussion with a great deal of objectivity, yet felt strongly about his opinions. He had great compassion for all living things and loved trips to the mountains. He and his wife frequently drove to Skyline Drive. He was very handy, and could fix or repair many things. He enjoyed his 1988 Dodge Dakota pickup truck and often drove it to the local Starbucks. He liked collecting old maps, topographic as well as vintage road maps, and he appreciated old airplanes, sometimes enjoying a flight in a vintage aircraft.
He is survived by his wife of over 65 years, Taya Barnett, a son, Brant Charles Barnett and a daughter, Taya Renee Barnett; his sisters, Virginia Bickta and Evelyn Swalm, a brother, Richard Barnett, and many nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his brother Allen. His family and his cat Luna miss him very much.