The Obit For Calvin Barnes

Calvin Albert Barnes (1921 - 2009)

Published in Bakersfield Californian on August 25, 2009

Calvin was born February 6, 1921 in Bowling Green, Kentucky to Albert and Birdie Barnes. Calvin was more than a teacher. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather.

He is survived by his wife, Esther of 63 years, sister Barbara Judd of Bakersfield, 2 daughters, Allison Coleman and Leslie Troncale, and granddaughter, Alyssa Marie Coleman. Calvin was a star athlete in high school days at Excelsior High School in Bellflower.

After being picked out by scouts from the Boston Red Socks while he attended Excelsior, Calvin received offers of sports scholarships to two major universities and enrolled at USC with a baseball scholarship in the fall of 1938.

He graduated with a major in math and a minor in engineering in 1949 where is now commemorated in a list of athletes on their wall of fame.

His baseball career took him to Bennettsville, South Carolina and Canton, Ohio for spring training camps and a tour with a Boston Farm club minor league team from 1946 - 1949.

Throughout his life, a love of airplanes and flying prevailed. In the midst of his college career Calvin felt compelled to enlist and serve his country.

He enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1943 for a term of over 3 years. Although he did not serve overseas, Calvin was infinitely proud of his contribution to WWII.

His teaching career began during the summer at China Lake Elementary School where he had a hands on program teaching the students aviation science by building model airplanes!

After graduation from College Calvin went on to complete his student teaching in the Watts area of Los Angeles and from there he was hired to teach an aviation science program in the Vineland-Sunset School District, in Weedpatch, California.

His classroom was situated inside of a C46 airplane and they also had a Link flight trainer for his students to use. Mr. Barnes is still remembered by students from Placerita Jr. High and Sierra Vista Jr. High in the William S. Hart High School District where he continued to teach math, and aviation science. His aviation programs were the first of their kind anywhere in the country.

His greatest legacy may be the many students who were influenced by him to go on and pursue careers in the field of aviation, flying and aerospace.

A memorial service is to be held at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 27, 2009 at Kern River Family Mortuary Chapel (1900 North Chester Ave., Bakersfield).

A veteran's service will be held the same day at 2:00 p.m. at the Bakersfield National Cemetery (corner of Hwy 58 and Hwy 223, 22 miles east of Bakersfield).

Friends, students and others who knew Calvin are invited to join us to share their memories.