J. PAUL BARNETT
June 5, 1934 - Oct. 25, 2010
SOUTH BEND - J. Paul Barnett, 76, of South Bend, passed away at 2:58 a.m. Monday, October 25th, in Memorial Hospital after an extended illness. Mr. Barnett was born on June 5, 1934, in South Bend, and had resided in the area his lifetime.
On September 4, 1976, in South Bend, he married Carol L. Best, who survives. Also surviving are two stepdaughters, Rebecca Ann Best of North Liberty and Patricia Lynne (Robert) DeMeyer of South Bend; four grandchildren, Rebecca S. Barnett of Elkhart, IN, Steven, Hannah and Kevin DeMeyer of South Bend; a sister, Lois Jean Hanna of Brooksville, Florida; two nieces, Roberta Van Sickle and Luanne Hanna. Paul was preceded in death by his parents, John A. and Edith Fern (McGuire) Barnett; and a son, John P. Barnett Jr., who passed away Dec. 3, 1991. Mr. Barnett was owner of South Bend Replicas, Inc., in South Bend prior to his death.
Paul graduated from Central High School, Franklin College and Ball State University. In his younger years he was an Indiana State Trooper, U.S. Army veteran, a high school English teacher, a vocational musician in local venues, and other things that evolved into a career working in the field of antique artillery. As a manufacturer, his work was invited into many federal, state, local and private historical projects. The sailing ships Lady Washington, Kalmar Nyckel, Pride of Baltimore, and H.M.S. Rose have been among client ships. Historic forts and sites using antique replica artillery made by Paul for their living history programs include Fort Ticonderoga, Colonial Williamsburg, Sutter's Fort and Fort Ross in California, and Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments at St. Augustine, and Mission San Luis at Tallahassee. Museum and Monument projects have included DuPont's Hagley Museum and West Point. Movies in which artillery by Barnett has appeared include the feature film Glory; Spielberg and Disney have been repeat clients.
In 1967, symphony conductor Erich Kunzel approached Barnett about possibly producing Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" live in accordance with the original 1880 score and plan, into which 16 muzzle-loading cannon shots had been specifically written to be fired with musical precision from an electric switch panel constructed for an 1881 event that failed to materialize. Also in 1967, Paul had undertaken research on Lyle guns, pieces of light artillery developed in 1978 for projecting lifelines to and from distressed ships. A sharing of efforts by Kunzel and Barnett led Barnett into a secondary career of performing with many orchestras and conductors doing historically valid "1812" performances in the United States and as far away as Lenigrad, Russia. In 1990, under invitation of the Russian government and within earshot of the composer's grave, Barnett was delighted to assist in bringing the Overture home in a worldwide celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Tchaikovsky's birth, in the city (now again St. Petersburg) of his youth. The annual Kunzel/Barnett collaboration continued until 2009. Other conductors who became variously involved across the years included Andrew Kostelanetz, Henry Mancini, Mstislav Rostropovich, Leonard Slatkin and others at places such as Wolf Trap, Ravinia, Saratoga, Bethel Woods, Mann, Blossom, Meadow Brook, and other performing art centers.
Paul's published work includes a reference catalog on antique artillery, a book, "The Lifesaving Guns of David Lyle," and various articles in professional and trade journals. Some of his memberships were in the U.S. Lifesaving Service Heritage Association, the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, the National Rifle Association, The American Federation of Musicians, and the Company of Military Historians. Also the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity.
Visitation hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, October 28, in the Hanley & Sons "Southwest Chapel" Funeral Home, located at West Ireland Road/Indiana 23, South Bend. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 29, in the funeral home, with burial following at Sumption Prairie Cemetery, with military services. The family request that all memorial contributions be made to the Sumption Prairie United Methodist Church of to the charity of donor's choice.
The family would like to thank all the medical staff on the 7th and 10th floors of Memorial Hospital for their outstanding compassionate care. The HANLEY & SONS "Southwest Chapel" Funeral Home handled arrangements and services and extends its deepest sympathy to the Barnett family.
Published by South Bend Tribune on Oct. 27, 2010.