Hansen-Spear Funeral Home – Quincy, Illinois

Lowell H. Barnett

Lowell Haines Barnett, age 92, of Birmingham, Michigan, died on August 10, 2017, in Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. Lowell was born on March 16, 1925, in West Point, Illinois, to Royal and Hilda Klingler Barnett. He married Ruth Anna Weid on July 4, 1946, in Quincy. She preceded him in death on November 24, 2013.

Lowell H. Barnett | Hansen-Spear Funeral Home - Quincy, IllinoisLowell attended Pleasant Hill School, a one-room school west of West Point. He attributed his lifelong love of learning to that early education. As a teenager, he worked in the family grocery store and sold Avon products. He graduated from West Point High School, a three-year high school in 1940, and then from Bowen High School the following year. He graduated from Gem City Business College in Quincy. In 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Private. After basic training, he was selected to attend Manhattan College in New York City to study engineering. In 1943 he was ordered to Europe. Following the Battle of the Bulge, his company was deployed to the Colmar Pocket. He suffered frostbite in the trenches and was hospitalized for 6 months before being discharged in 1944. The effect of that injury to his feet remained with him the rest of his life. After discharge, he entered the U. S. Army Reserve as a 2nd Lieutenant and retired from the Reserve as a Lt. Colonel.

Lowell and Ruth were married while he was attending the University of Illinois. After receiving a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering, he accepted a position with the Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, Mississippi. From 1951 through 1962, he served as Deputy Chief of the Engineering Department at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. In 1963 he began work with the Army Tank Automotive Command in Warren, Michigan. He became Director of Quality Product Assurance for ATAC, a position that involved the development, production, and support of vehicles utilized by active and reserve army units. His promotion to Senior Executive Service status carried an equivalent protocol ranking to Brigadier General.

He received the Legion of Merit for Military Service as a reserve officer, 1943-1977, an award not usually given to reserve officers. He also received the Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

During his government career he attained a M.S. Degree in Industrial Engineering from Wayne State University, a M.S. Degree in Management of National Resources from George Washington University, and graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Lowell was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Michigan. He was a member of the Quincy Consistory for over sixty-six years, joining originally at Dill’s Masonic Lodge in West Point.

A lifelong student with a wonderful curiosity, Lowell was an avid reader, correspondent, and a devoted family man. He prided himself on making a connection with anyone he met. With a few questions he could establish a connection relating to background, mutual acquaintances, or interests.

Lowell enjoyed music, played violin, sang in a quartet in later years, and was a good dancer, delighting in ballroom dancing and whirling the ladies in a fast dance. He and Ruth were members of a square dance club.

His career required that he travel all over the world. After retirement, Lowell and Ruth enjoyed traveling, participating in over twenty-five Elderhostel trips and several excursions on the Delta Queen and American Queen. Traveling also included many family vacations and cruises. He lost his traveling companion when Ruth was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She lived in a nursing facility for ten years; he spent every afternoon with her until she retired for the night.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Dale S. Barnett.

He is survived by two sons, Randy (Christine), of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Russell (Linda), of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky; daughter, Lori Barnett, of Bend, Oregon; grandchildren Michael Turner, of Frankfort, Kentucky, Clayton Barnett and Kyle Barnett, of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky; and sister,
Sharon L. Barnett of Quincy.

SERVICES: 11:00 am, Friday, August 18, 2017, in the Hansen-Spear Funeral Home with Rev. Larry Wentzel conducting. Burial will be in West Point Cemetery following the service.

VISITATION: 10:00 – 11:00 am, Friday, August 18, 2017, at Hansen-Spear Funeral Home.

MEMORIALS: Alzheimer’s Association.

ARRANGEMENTS: Hansen-Spear Funeral Home.

WEBSITE: www.hansenspear.com

Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors are in charge of arrangements.

  1. Randy, Russell and Lori I am so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. During my five years of working for him he beamed with pride when he spoke of his children’s many accomplishments in life. I heard updates almost daily on each one of you about anything and everything. He always dropped everything when any of you would call. He lived for those wonderful family vacations and always had funny stories to share upon his return. If it weren’t for your Dad I would never heard of the works of Garrison Keillor or the history of his beloved Quincy, Illinois. As you say your goodbyes on Friday my love and prayers are with you all.

  2. I first met Lowell when my wife,Jean, and Lowell’s wife, Ruth, were residents at Sunrise Assisted Living in Bloomfield Hills, Mi. due to Alzheimer’s Disease. Lowell and I would each visit our wives each evening , 7 days per week, feed them their dinners and take them for walks in their wheelchairs after which we would sit outside together in good weather and inside in bad weather and Lowell and I would discus many topics of the world and life. As a result of over 3 years together like this Lowell and I became very good friends and after our wives both passed away in November 2013, Lowell and I would continue to meet each other for lunch periodically until Lowell began to have more difficulty walking and then I would pick up lunch somewhere for him and bring it to him at home where we would still have our talks. I now will miss those visits with Lowell and deeply offer my sympathy to his family , Randy, Russell and Lori, who I also got to know very well. God bless you Lowell and your fine family.

  3. I worked directly for Mr. Barnett and his deputy Don Wengler for four years, the best bosses I could ever have hoped to have. Mr. Barnett taught me so much about how to do a job the right way, and about what it takes to be a good public servant. One of the finest men I have ever known and worked for. Sail on Mr. Barnett, blue skies, calm seas and a good stiff breeze.

  4. I met Lowell when I started at TACOM in 1969. He was always a gentleman, a professional, and a genuinely kind person. I was privilaged to know him. So sorry to hear of his passing.

  5. Remembering that quick wit and incredible sense of humor will always bring a smile.
    I was priviliged to have shared so many delightful moments and will cherish the memories.
    An amazing man. An amazing family. An amazing life.

  6. From your loving neighbors and very close friends. Lowell and Ruth were such good friends for many year. We are sorry we cannot attned due to health and travel restrictions. God Bless Lowell. Strength, love and understanding to the family.
    William & Grace Branic Family

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