Robert C. Barrows Sr., 94, of Vergennes
VERGENNES — The world lost a beautiful and kind soul with the unexpected passing of Robert (Bob) Barrows at his home on Monday, April 13, 2020.
Bob was born to Charles and Marguerite (Daniels) Barrows on Dec. 7, 1925, in Vergennes, at the home of his grandparents, Capts. Mitchell and Helen Daniels, owners of the Daniels’ Steamboat Line. He was always very proud of the fact that his great-grandmother, Capt. Philomene Daniels, was known as the first licensed female steamboat pilot operator and that his grandmother, Helen, also piloted and eventually ran a coal business on her own at a time when women entrepreneurs were few and far between.
A life-long resident of Vergennes, Bob graduated from the old Vergennes High School in 1944 and joined the Army Air Force, serving as an aerial gunner in a B-24. After the service he came back home and worked as a local taxi driver and also delivered coal for his grandmother. He married Virginia Lackard in 1946, and in 1947 attended UVM on the G.I. Bill, graduating with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. With degree in hand he secured a position at Simmonds Precision in Vergennes, where he remained for 44 years, throughout all its corporation changes, providing a good home for his family of six. His mantra was, “Look for pleasure in work being performed. It makes working more enjoyable.”
Bob was a man of many talents and interests. From 1945 to 1962 he played saxophone and doubled on the clarinet for the dance band “Vermonters,” entertaining audiences in both Vermont and New York State. He also played a mean piano with toe-tapping enthusiasm. Woodworking, hunting, and collecting antique car models also brought much joy to his life, plus his daily exercises of weights, squats, push-ups and NordicTrack time up until the day he passed.
Bob was a life-long member and supporter of St. Peter’s Catholic Church. He was very proud of the fact that he was one of the two original charter members of the Vergennes Lions Club, helping people and sharing fun and fellowship. His love of family, contagious zest for life, Vermont humor, and sunny disposition will be deeply missed. He was loved by all who knew him.
Bob was predeceased by his sons, Robert (Skipper) Barrows Jr., and Thomas Barrows; his parents,; three siblings, Richard Barrows, Helen Palmer and Claire Duclos; and the mother of his children, Virginia Lackard. He is survived by two daughters, Susanne Button of Mississippi and Lynn (Maurice) Bourgeois of Addison; eleven grandchildren, Jeff Barrows, Krista Reis, Annette Giroux, Michelle Willard, Nichole Vanecek, Erin Button, Beth Myers, Angela Castro, Nathan Barrows, Lori Barrows, and Mike Brown; eleven great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to express thanks to Brenda Owen for her loving care for Bob over the last few months.
Services are to be held at a later date. To send on-line condolences to his family, visit brownmcclayfuneralhomes.com.◊
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