Quentin "Tom" Thomas Barrett
February 10, 1934 – June 16, 2020
QUENTIN THOMAS BARRETT
On June 16, 2020, Col. Quentin Thomas (Tom) Barrett passed away peacefully at “The Fairfax,” after a brief illness. He was a native of Alexandria, Virginia, where he returned to live permanently in the early 1980s after his retirement from the Air Force. Col. Barrett was born on February 10, 1934. He graduated from George Washington High School (1951) and Virginia Military Institute (1955), where he was captain of the school’s rifle team. After two years study at the Medical College of Virginia, Col. Barrett was commissioned into active duty in March 1958. Beginning in 1962, Col. Barrett attended an Air Force Institute of Technology Graduate Program at the University of Southern California, where in 1964 he was awarded a Master of Science degree in the field of Human Physiology. During his 30-year Air Force career he was stationed at Harlingen AFB (Harlingen, TX), Randolph AFB (San Antonio, TX), Chanute AFB (Rantoul, IL), Andrews AFB (Clinton, MD), and Beale AFB (Yuba City, CA). Col. Barrett ended his career at Beale AFB as Chief of the Physiological Support Division for the Air Force’s two high-altitude reconnaissance planes, the U-2 and the SR-71. He also had an ancillary duty during that assignment as the Strategic Air Command Coordinator for Aerospace Physiology. During his military career Col. Barrett was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster and the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster.
Col. Barrett was able to focus on a demanding Air Force career that included extensive travel due to the dedicated contributions of his wife, Jeanne Rossie Barrett. She expertly fulfilled all operations on the home front for three children (and their busy schedules) with a loving hand and military precision of her own.
Col. Barrett valued his family and each member knew they could count on his steadfast support no matter the circumstance. In his leisure time Col. Barrett loved to fish the Chesapeake Bay, which he had done virtually his entire life. One of his proudest accomplishments was qualifying as a United States Coast Guard Grand Master for Inland Waters, a license that remained current at the time of his death. He enjoyed time spent with his many close friends at Smith Point Marina in Reedville, VA, where he had docked his boat since the 1970s. He also loved the game of golf, having taken it up late in life, more for the friendships it brought him than for any accomplishments on the course. He was a devout Washington Post reader and crossword puzzle enthusiast, enjoyed Nascar racing and the PGA Tour, pulled for the Washington Redskins, and was known to enjoy a good martini from time to time.
Col. Barrett was preceded in death by his parents, Col. Roland and Mrs. Sylvia Barrett of Alexandria, VA. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jeanne Rossie Barrett of Alexandria, as well as two daughters – Wendy Barrett Miller of Dunkirk, MD (Blaise) and Pamela (Pam) Barrett Crismond of Stafford, VA (David); and one son, Clifton (Cliff) Thomas Barrett of Greensboro, NC (Karen). He is also survived by four grandchildren – Graham Cairnes of Fredericksburg, VA (Jen), Casey Cairnes of Stafford, VA (Chelsea), Brett Miller of Raleigh, NC (Garrett), and Colt Miller of Annapolis, MD (Liz); and seven great grandchildren.
Due to the current restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, no service is currently planned. The family intends to have a memorial service at Smith Point Marina in the late summer or fall, when conditions permit.
Memorial contributions in Col. Barrett’s memory may be made to Smith Point Sea Rescue, Inc., P.O. Box 662, Burgess, VA 22432.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Quentin "Tom" Thomas Barrett
June 18, 2020
You will be certainly missed at Little River Campground. I met the Colonel as we called him in 1990 at Smith Point Marina. He willingly shared with me not only his knowledge of the bay and fishing it, but willing took myself and family on many exciting and rewarding fishing trips. He was a very personal individual and enjoyed life fully.
Bruce and Sherry Doyle
June 18, 2020
So many great days at Smith Point fishing on the Jeanne B. The motto was “ shut up and fish.” After a full day, back to the dock by 1600 and the we would partake in an adult beverage. Always great evenings discussing our days, politics, family and it all ended with a great meal together. There was always the aroma of a cigar from morning to night. We will all miss you sir, but know heaven got another great angel. Miss Jean is in good hands. Love to all.