Richard S. Barth
August 31, 1938 – February 7, 2020
On February 7, 2020 Richard Barth age 81, of Beverly, MA, succumbed to complications from pneumonia and peacefully entered into rest surrounded by his loving family.
Richard was born in Haverhill, MA and spent most of his youth in Newburyport, Lynn and Portland, Maine. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Statistics at Boston University. Richard was a gentle, caring individual with a mischievous personality who could catch you off guard with his witty sense of humor. A natural with numbers and logic, he worked for the US Census Bureau before becoming one of the first computer programmers. After 27 years with American Mutual Insurance Company, he took a role with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts spearheading a project for the DOT which catapulted the driver’s license into the modern age by introducing digital imaging, holograms and satellite kiosks throughout the state.
As successful as he was in his career, Richard was first and foremost a husband and father. He was devoted to his wife Sheila to whom he was married for 56 years, and supported her as her career simultaneously flourished -- no small feat with four children. He actively accompanied her to nearly 150 theater performances per year, contributing to and editing her newspaper reviews. In addition, they fervently watched and supported their grandchildren who starred in theater and dance performances. He made sure to spend focused time with each child sharing his many passions, but also embracing theirs. An avid sports fan, Richard followed Boston professional sports faithfully – with a particular affinity for football and baseball. He loved to attend Red Sox games, especially taking his children Fenway Park one-on-one. During those games he taught each child how to properly and meticulously score every at-bat. He readily volunteered to do the statistics for his children’s sports teams. He also loyally followed Newburyport High School football – a very special tradition he maintained with his father and children. His love of sports reached a pinnacle when his grandchildren began to play soccer, softball, basketball, football, baseball, rugby, field hockey and track & field. He took such pride and great joy watching and discussing every last play or element with each grandchild.
Music was also an important part of Richard’s life. He loved to entertain by playing piano and melodica. He took great pride in watching the tradition continue with his children and grandchildren as they pursued music in their own individual ways. Another favorite personal hobby was detailed trip-planning. Long before the days of personal GPS navigators and Waze, he meticulously mapped out vacation itineraries and routes to the specific minute and mile, the old-school way for family and friends.
Richard enjoyed gardening. He grew vibrantly colored flowers including super-sized prize-winning dahlias. His claim-to-fame was his cherry tomato plants which grew higher than the roofline. Each year he tracked his extraordinary tomato yield, always trying to outdo his prior year performance. Richard loved sharing them with family and friends.
Richard and his wife Sheila were the true pillars of the family. Their love for each other was unending, unconditional and unwavering. Throughout their 56 years of marriage, they shared an unparalleled love, respect and admiration for one another. They were each other’s strength. In life and in death, they remained completely connected. Their beautiful love story finished this chapter with the comfort that they will never grieve each other but instead enter their next chapter together.
Richard was loved by so many people. He was the devoted husband of Sheila F (Lerman) Barth who predeceased him by 5 days; the proud father of Lisa Wolowacki and her husband Bill, Elana Turchon and her husband Dennis, Gary Barth and his wife Michelle, and Sara Kelley and her husband Peter; adored Papa of Cameron and Jacob Wolowacki, Gisele Turchon, Jacquie and Jamie Barth, Eli and Anja Kelley; cherished son of the late David and Jennie Barth, and the cherished uncle, cousin and friend of an infinite number of people his life touched significantly.
A funeral service will be held on Sunday, February 9 at 1:30pm at Temple B’Nai Abraham in Beverly , MA. Immediately following the service will be interment at Newburyport Hebrew Cemetery, 10 Toll Rd, Salisbury, MA. After that time, the family welcomes any and all to convene and be in the comfort of others at Danversport Yacht Club, 161 Elliott St in Danvers between the hours of 5:00pm and 8:00pm.
Additional Shiva information for the remainder of the mourning period will be communicated privately.
In accordance with the traditions of the Jewish faith, and given his passion for teaching and nurturing, we ask that you please not send flowers. Instead you may make a donation to an education-based charity in his name.
In addition, to honor his memory, we ask that everyone please conduct one intentional selfless act of kindness.
For more information or to register in the online guestbook, please visit www.stanetskyhymansonsalem.com.
- Temple Funeral Service Sunday, February 9, 2020
- Interment Sunday, February 9, 2020
Richard S. Barth
February 11, 2020
I was so sad to learn of the passing of Richard and Sheila. As my mother (Shoshanah Rothkopf Garshick) and my sister (Ellen Garshick) were researching the Barth family tree (my mother’s mother’s family), they were able to reconnect with Richard and Sheila. They were lovely people to whom family meant a lot, which was evident when they joined in all the events on our part of the family tree! Their friendliness and warmth will be remembered. May you be comforted along with all the mourners of Zion.
Rachel Garshick Kleit
February 9, 2020
I met your parents as they reconnected with my Aunt, Shoshanah Garshick. I am the son of Max Rothkopf and grandson of Sarah Barth Rothkopf.
So sorry to learn of the death of Richard and Sheila. I am out of the country and won't be able to attend the service but sending my sincere condolences to you all.
May their memory be a blessing.
February 9, 2020
I first met Richard when Sara took me to her parents place in 1993. I was in exchange from Australia having met Sara at Wollingong when she was in exchange. I had my first ever Thanksgiving with Richard and Sheila. I also tried to call them every thanksgiving since I have been back. Richard was so kind and welcoming to me . Rest In Peace. Denise ❤️❤️
February 8, 2020
You are with your Shiela as you should be Richard. Thanks for all the laughs over the years, the long talks about our shared love of the Red Sox, Spring Training & Fenway Park. Thank you for all your insights as I planned several cross country voyages around the US to see baseball in as many ballparks as possible in the minors and the MLB. Thanks for the shiny silver dollars each New Year’s Eve of my childhood. Thanks for the Swedish Meatballs, Latkes and Bagels you always had time to share with me on visits. Thanks for raising such a wonderful and loving family. My heart is with you and your precious Ginger as you head into the next chapter. To Lisa, Elena, Gary, Sara and their families and friends I send you love and a tiny bit of understanding as well as we all now sort out our existence here in this realm with our parents no longer physically present. But oh so present in our hearts, minds and memories of those they loved. Be good to yourselves and each other as you grieve. This is a big loss. I know your parents take solace that you can do it gathered together to lean on one another now and in the days ahead. Shalom.