Obituary: Richard J. Barrett Jr., 1964-2020 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Richard J. Barrett Jr., 1964-2020

Braintree-bred man loved nature, sports and Vermont

Published August 18, 2020 at 7:00 a.m.
Updated August 18, 2020 at 12:48 p.m.

Richard J. Barrett, Jr. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Richard J. Barrett, Jr.

A big, kind, friendly and funny, funny man, Rich Barrett always made the people around him laugh. He was so quick with a joke that would point out the folly of any weak argument, but he always delivered it with the twinkling eye that let you know he was laughing with you — not at you. He passed away Monday, August 17, 2020, in Burlington.

He was born in Chicago and moved to Braintree, Vt., at the age of 5. This turned out to be a very good thing, since he loved to be outdoors to play in the brook, forest and fields whenever school was not in the way. His mother was glad he finally abandoned the practice of filling his pockets with living creatures for her to set free at laundry time. This appreciation of nature lasted his entire life and was always shared with younger generations whenever the opportunity arose. He loved Vermont and found fewer and fewer compelling reasons to leave the state as time went on.

He attended schools in Braintree and Randolph and graduated from Vermont Academy. He deeply enjoyed team sports and played many in his school days and watched even more on TV or occasionally in person. Rich briefly attended Clarkson University but opted for a path more suited to him. He worked mostly in logistics- and construction-related fields. We know he will be missed by colleagues at EJ Prescott, where he spent the last 13 years. While he lived in South Burlington, Jericho and most recently Essex, Braintree was also always his home.

A caring son, brother, uncle, partner and stepdad, Rich is survived by many who loved him and are heartbroken he is gone: sisters Stephanie Barrett and Betina Barrett-Gallant and her husband, Keith Gallant, and nephew Quinn Gallant, all of Braintree; nephew Ethan Barrett of Seattle; aunt Dorothy Bemis of Peabody, Mass.; former partner Deb Hassett of Punta Gorda, Fla.: stepdaughter Jaclyn Smith of Winooski; and many other friends. He is predeceased by his parents, Dr. Richard J. and M. Susanne Barrett, and beloved stepson Patrick Smith.

Like many on his father’s side, Rich was taken suddenly and far too soon by heart disease. The family expresses gratitude to the EMTs and especially the University of Vermont Medical Center ICU staff who cared for him at the end. Funeral and interment date to be determined. A safe and appropriate celebration of his life will be held sometime prior to deer season. Online condolences may be left at Arrangements are by the Day Funeral Home in Randolph.

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