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Arthur L. Barrett

February 19, 1918 July 7, 2006
Arthur L. Barrett
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Obituary for Arthur L. Barrett

Arthur  L. Barrett Goshen, NY

Arthur L. Barrett, 88, former chairman of the Middletown High School English Department, died on July 7, 2006, in Goshen.

He was born on February 19, 1918, in Chicago, the son of Arthur and Helen Williams Barrett. As an infant, he moved with his parents to Shanghai, China where his father was manager of the Singer Sewing Machine Co. for North China. After graduating from secondary school in Shanghai, he attended Grinnell College in Iowa. There, he was active in literary and drama groups and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1942.

During World War II, he served as an adjudicator of claims for GI benefits in the War Department. After the war, he attended Harvard University, receiving an M.A.T. degree in 1948. Subsequently, he taught English and speech at Altoona Center of Penn State University, and served as the Chairman of the English Department of the Central School of Newark Valley, New York.

In 1954, he came to teach at Middletown High School. As Chairman of the English Department, he was instrumental in creating the Humanities curriculum. His work in the English and the Humanities was recognized by two John Hay Fellows Awards, one in the summer of 1960 at Bennington College and a semester’s     full scholarship at the University of Chicago.

He retired from Middletown High School in 1977 and taught as an adjunct professor of English at Orange County Community College. He served several terms as a member of the Middletown Library Board and was a reader for Radio Vision books for the visually impaired.

His physical disabilities, the result of a childhood accident, did nothing to curb his pleasure in the world, his quirky sense of humor, his passion for Shakespeare and Dickens, and his great devotion to teaching. He and his wife Mary traveled extensively, particularly to England which they both loved. He is survived by Mary, his wife of 58 years; his son David, a lawyer in New York City; his daughter-in-law Didi; his grandson Alexander and his granddaughter Annabel.

He delighted in the accomplishments of his family, particularly those of his grandchildren. He will be missed by those who knew and loved him.

A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, July 16, 2006 at 2 pm at Glen Arden, 214 Harriman Drive, Goshen, NY 10924. Burial will be private at Wallkill Cemetery, Phillipsburg.

Memorial contributions in Arthur’s name may be made to any of the following organizations: Orange Regional Medical Center, 4 Harriman Drive, NY 10924; Habitat for Humanity, 745 Broadway, Newburgh, NY 12550; or Doctors without Borders, USA, PO Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD, 21741-Funeral arrangements under the direction of Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home.www.applebee-mcphillips.com

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