Duckett Funeral Home of J.S. Waterman & Sons

656 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, MA


Dr. Arnold Appleton Barnes Jr.

June 10, 1930September 9, 2019

Dr. Arnold Appleton Barnes, Jr., 89, of Sudbury, passed away Monday, September 9, 2019, from Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Born on June 10, 1930 in Charleston, West Virginia, he was the son of Arnold and Frances (Arbuckle) Barnes. He was raised in West Virginia and after school there he attended the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and then Princeton University, where he studied math and physics. He also lettered in and captained the pistol team which fired against Annapolis and West Point, among others.

When he graduated in 1952, he joined the Air Force that commissioned him and sent him to MIT to study meteorology. At MIT, Arnold realized he would eventually be telling pilots whether or not to fly so he decided to get a private pilot’s license. He really enjoyed flying planes and gliders.

After his stint at MIT, the Air Force sent him to England for two and a half years where he worked in support of un-marked U-2 surveillance planes that flew over Russia. He met some of the pilots in that unit that included Francis Gary Powers. At the time, weather information, including that from radar and satellites, was crude compared to today.

After his service in England, Arnold returned to MIT in 1956 and obtained a master’s degree and PhD in meteorology. He was hired by the Air Force as a civilian and assigned to Hanscom Field in Bedford where he did meteorological research. At Hanscom, he and his colleagues had access to the only U-2 plane with U.S. markings. They used it to take high altitude photos of the clouds. They knew they would be putting up satellites and wanted to know what satellite pictures would look like, so they made mosaics of the photos. The pictures themselves helped his group in forecasting because they could see what was happening with storms over the oceans. It improved forecasting significantly.

As the use of satellites developed, they would see more and make better forecasts. They started putting up more weather radars in the US. which made forecasting even more accurate. He made numerous trips to Kwajalein in the South pacific, flying in a highly modified C-130 aircraft in support of reentry vehicle testing. He liked to say he went to the middle of the south pacific to wait for bad weather. Arnold was a proud veteran and when he retired, he had 42 years working for the Air Force.

Arnold and Sally met at MIT and were married in 1960. They lived in Weston for 46 years before moving to Sudbury in 2007. They enjoyed travelling in the US, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia and Russia. After a unique career, he went on to be a ham radio operator, volunteered for FISH (Friends in Service Helping) in Weston and Sudbury, Medical Reserve Corps in Weston and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) in Sudbury. In earlier years he enjoyed a hobby of silversmithing, making bowls, serving spoons, jewelry, etc. Arnold was quite the handyman, and he, along with his family, built their summer home in Scituate. He loved being “Papa” to his grandchildren, and always had a smile and coffee ice cream for them.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years, Sally (Spall) Barnes; devoted father of Judith “Dede” Ball and her partner Manuel “Mick” Costa of Sudbury, Arnold “Chip” Barnes III and his wife Catherine of Boulder, CO, Amy Hurley and her husband Mark of Henniker, NH; loving brother of John Barnes of West Virginia; proud grandfather of Travis Ball and his wife Camille of Marlborough, MA, Whitney Ball of Washington, D.C., Elizabeth and Colin Barnes, both of Boulder, CO, Kevin Hurley of Wilmington, MA, Brenna Hurley of Henniker, NH. He is also survived by his adored sister-in-law, Judy Spall of Waltham, and many friends, including his dear friend Sandra Erdle of Sudbury.

A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 11AM at the Memorial Congregational Church, 26 Concord Road, Sudbury. Interment in Linwood Cemetery, Weston, will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to: Research Discretionary Fund of Beth Israel Interstitial Lung Disease Center Pulmonary Sleep Critical Care Division Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. 330 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215 (ILD Research Fund, c/o Dr. Joseph Zibrak)

Or, Caregoup Parmenter Hospice, c/o Parlin House, 1 Arsenal Market Place, Watertown, MA 02472


  • Memorial Service Saturday, September 28, 2019


Dr. Arnold Appleton Barnes Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barbara Bahlkow

September 15, 2019

Dear Sally My memories of Arnold include his membership in Cert Community Emergency Response Team where he shared his brilliant ideas with us to help the Sudbury citizens be safe in case of a man made or natural disaster. Another memory was every time I went to vote I would be greeted by Arnold with a friendly smile as he worked the polls. I remember the first time I went to play Villagers Marathon Bridge at your home at Spring House Pond Arnold was so proud as he gave me a tour of the entire home.He was a dear man and will be sadly missed . Barbara Bahlkow