Quentin Barrett, fondly known as “Grandman,” age 90, of Beckley, passed away April 28, 2009, at the Bowers Hospice House, Beckley.
Born Sept. 5, 1918, at Dry Creek, Raleigh County, W.Va., he was a lifelong resident of Raleigh County. He was the fifth of six children born to the late Thomas and Zada (Jones) Barrett. He was the grandson of Robert Edward and Arminta (Jarrell) Barrett, pioneer merchants of Raleigh County. His sister, Merle; and brothers, Donovan, Lawson, Robert and Edward, preceded him in death. He was the last surviving member of his family.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 69 years, Anna Lee (Browning) Barrett; a son, Robert Kenneth Barrett and his wife, Linda, of Grand Junction, Colorado; a daughter, Elizabeth Browning Barrett and her fiancé, James O. Meadows, Sr. of Beckley, W.Va.; and three beloved grandchildren, Candace Brette Wills of Naperville, Ill., Andrew Quentin Barrett (Dana) of Hong Kong, and Colby Emerson Barrett (Leslie) of Grand Junction, Colo. He was blessed with three great-grandchildren, Scarlett, Hunter and Lachlan. He has several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and great-great-nephews.
Mr. Barrett graduated from Marsh Fork High School in 1934. A triple promotion in primary school allowed him to enter college at the age of 16. He attended Concord College, Marshall College, Indiana University, Western State College (Colorado), and holds advanced degrees from West Virginia University.
He lived through the Great Depression and worked his way through college at the Bud Jones Sawmill and the Eunice coal mines. He began his teaching career in 1938 at Mount Olive, a one-room school, on top of Kayford Mountain. He taught at Rhodell Elementary from 1939 to 1941 and Marsh Fork High School from 1942 to 1943. Mr. Barrett became principal of Montcoal-Stickney Elementary in 1944, Pettus Elementary in 1957, and was appointed principal of Whitesville Elementary and Junior High in 1958. He coached and refered basketball games throughout his career and played center in an independent basketball league.
Mr. Barrett retired from his education career in 1977. He remained active as a farmer, a County Agent for the Soil Conservation Service and a licensed real estate agent. As a community leader and educator, Quentin was loved and respected far and wide. He had great insight and wit and his stories and lore will be remembered for generations. The United States Library of Congress included Mr. Barrett’s recollections as a permanent feature in their “Folklife and Landscape in Southern West Virginia” project.
He was a conservative, a Chicago Cubs fan and was an avid outdoorsman. He kept a hunting camp in Pendleton County, W.Va., for many years. He raised cattle and cut timber on his 400-acre farm in Virginia. Quentin enjoyed camaraderie and spirited poker games with his Brethren of Auld Lang Syne. He was recognized as the “Laird o’ Lost Acres.”
At Mr. Barrett’s request, there will not be a visitation. A private memorial service will be held at a later date.
Condolences may be e-mailed to the family at Bob@TerraTask.com
In tribute to Quentin Barrett’s lifelong work with youth, the Barrett family is assisting Bowers Hospice House in creating the Barrett Children’s Play Room for children visiting at their facility. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Bowers Hospice House, 454 Cranberry Drive, Beckley, WV 25801 www.hospiceofsouthernwv.org
The family thanks Dr. Gary Poling and his staff for their exceptional care throughout Mr. Barrett’s later years.
Arrangements by Melton Mortuary, Beckley.
In lieu flowers the family request donations be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
Armstrong Funeral Home, Whitesville, is in charge of arrangements.
Contributed by Dan Harless