James H. Barnes Jr., 91, a longtime Swanzey resident and an active member of our community, died on Friday, April 29, 2022, at the Cheshire Medical Center in Keene.
His parents, Mary A. (Welch) Mulder and James H. Barnes Sr., welcomed their son into the world on Oct. 9, 1930, in Laurel, Miss. Sadly, at a young age, Jim’s father died unexpectedly and, along with his mother, Jim and his sister, Alice Ruth (who died at 19 years of age), were raised by Henry “Hank” Mulder.
The family moved to Keene in 1938. Jim grew up in Keene, attended local schools and was a 1948 graduate of Keene High School, where he was both a star hurdler and basketball player.
In 1948, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving his country during the Korean War from 1948 as a Navy aviation photographer, serving onboard the USS Leyte. He was honorably discharged in 1952, receiving two Korean service medals, the Navy occupation medal (Europe and Asia), the United Nations Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal.
Jim married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Irene B. Brosseau, on April 28, 1951. They shared many wonderful memories over their 71 years together until Irene’s passing on Jan. 6, 2022.
Jim began his work career with Markem Corporation in 1952, was Director of Human Resources from 1973 until his retirement in 1987, and was a member of the Markem Quarter Century Club.
After his retirement, Jim continued to work, helping his wife and daughter in their business Growing Designs, and became an avid gardener and landscaper himself. He also revived his love of music, singing with the Keene Pops Choir, the Keene Singers and, on occasion, the St. Bernard Church Choir. And most importantly, he invested countless hours pursuing his other passion — skiing. He was co-founder and chief of the Fugawee Ski Club, and an active participant until just recently.
Jim was an individual who served unselfishly in giving of his time and talent to produce a lasting benefit to the greater Keene community. Jim’s devotion to his community included his participation on boards and volunteering to local organizations and charitable organizations, including: General Campaign Chairman and past president of the Monadnock United Way; Pilot Campaign Chairman of the Monadnock United Way; Director and President of the Grand Monadnock Arts Council; Chairman of the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce; former member of the Personnel Club of the Monadnock Region; former Chairman of the Associated Industries of New Hampshire; Director of the New Hampshire Heart Association, Director of the International Management Council; Director of the Cheshire County American Red Cross; Director of the Keene Day Care Center; a member of the Keene State College Occupational Education Advisory Committee; and Chairman of the Keene Summer Theatre Corporate Contributors.
Jim has been a devoted member of the Keene Lions Club since 1968, serving as president from 1973 to 1984, on the Board of Directors and Stage Manager of their musical productions from 1969 to 1984, and was active with the Eyesight Conservation Program and the hearing clinic. He was a member of the Cedarcrest Incorporation, serving as president from 1982 to 1984, and president of the Cedarcrest Foundation in 1990 and 1991, just to name a few. Jim was presented the Keene Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award in 1991.
In addition to the members of our community, Jim will be greatly missed by his three children: Pamela Barnes White and her husband, Kevin, of Haverhill, Mass.; Kathy Barnes of Swanzey; and Lisa Barnes Marr and her husband, Denny, of Keene; his two grandsons, Erik R. Marr of Keene, and Patrick J. Marr and his wife, Jackie, of Dublin; and several nieces, nephews and extended family members.
A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at noon at St. Bernard Church, 185 Main St., Keene, with a reception immediately after in the church hall. Family and friends are welcome to attend. Interment will be at a later date in the Mountain View Cemetery in Swanzey.
For those who wish, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim’s memory to one of the many organizations that held a special place in Jim’s heart.
The Foley Funeral Home of Keene has been entrusted with the arrangements. To offer online condolences to the family or to share special memories, please visit www.foleyfuneralhome.com.