In Memoriam: Robert B. Barrett, DVM (1926-1987)

Dr. Robert R. Barrett died on December 1, 1987 in Sanford, Florida. He was born July 6,1926 in Rochester, New York, and after obtaining secondary schooling, entered the U.S. Naval Hospital Corps and served in the Pacific Theatre from 1944-1946. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester in 1950 and his doctor of veterinary medicine from Cornell University in 1956.

In 1956, Barrett entered private practice in Vergennes, Vermont. After one year in practice, he joined the faculty of Kansas State University where he remained until 1960, when he was appointed Clinical Radiologist at Cornell University. In 1963 he joined the clinical faculty of the University of Georgia in Athens and ultimately became professor and head of the radiology section at the College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1966, he was certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology.

Barrett moved to Albany, New York, in 1972 to start a private consultation and referral radiology practice that served the northeastern United States. During this time he also served as a consultant to the Animal Medical Center in New York City. Barrett continued his referral practice until 1980 when he and his wife, Dr. Danice Conway Barrett, sold their house and everything in it and moved aboard their sailboat. They sailed to Florida with all of their worldly possessions where they planned to retire and sail the seas.

During his professional life, Barrett was active in organized veterinary medicine, serving as president in three veterinary radiology societies including the American Veterinary Radiology Society, the Educators in Veterinary Radiologic Science, and the American College of Veterinary Radiology. He was a member of many honor societies including Gamma Sigma Delta, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Zeta, and Sigma Xi. He was also a member of the Omega Tau Sigma professional veterinary fraternity while at Cornell University. He received the Norden Laboratories Distinguished Teacher Award in 1968 and was nominated in 1970 as an "Outstanding Educator in America." He was the author or coauthor of over 40 scientific publications and has lectured at more than 250 state, regional, national, and international meetings.

Barrett was an avid sailor and ham radio operator (call sign, N2AVY). His many social clubs included the Waterway Radio Cruising Club, the Medical Amateur Radio Council (MARCO), Veterinary Amateur Radio Operators (VARO), Commodores of the Seven Seas Cruising Association, Norfolk Naval Sailing Association, and the Bahamas Air-Seas Rescue Association.

As a computer fan Barrett logged over 500 discs of information including programs that he originated. He had a hobby of gourmet cooking and was a person who thoroughly and wholeheartedly enjoyed food, recipes, and cooking. Prior to his death, he had been working on a cookbook. His family hopes to complete this project. Dr. Barrett worked and played hard, having the gift of a strong, amiable personality and intense enthusiasm for everything he became involved with-life veterinary medicine, and teaching. He was always current in advancements of medicine and frequently dropped "pearls" of wisdom during case discussions and intellectual conversations. He was one of my mentors while at the Animal Medical Center and was responsible for my pursuit of veterinary radiology career. Barrett lived life his way, but had a positive effect on anyone who met him.

In 1986, Bob had a setback involving the removal of a neoplastic kidney but recovered from this and with the help of friends and family worked toward a new beginning. At the time of his death, he was returning to referral practice in Florida.

He is survived by his wife, Danice; son, John of Athens, Georgia; daughter Christine Berding of Athens, Georgia, and three grandchildren. The absence of Bob will be felt by many. He was truly an outstanding individual who will be forever remembered.

Jerry M. Owens, DVM
San Rafael, CA
Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 1988 29 (4), 146.