Robert F. Barrett, 83, of The Dalles, Ore., passed away Thursday, March 31, 2016, following a long battle with cancer. Robert, the son of Robert A. Swift and Marian A. Hirsch, was born January 20, 1933 in Green River, Wyo. He was a veteran of the Korean War, serving in the United States Navy as a radioman.
Robert served more than 20 years in law enforcement as a police officer in Boulder City, Nev., a deputy sheriff for the Clark County Sheriff's Office in Las Vegas, Nev., and a deputy sheriff for the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department in Deadwood, S.D. He also worked as a surveyor, staking mining claims throughout Northern Nevada, and he spent his later years as a security guard at hotel/casinos in Laughlin, Nev. and at the Google facility in The Dalles, Ore.
In Bob’s earlier years, he loved spending time at his favorite fishing hole. He loved watching the trains pass through town. He inherited his love for trains and the great outdoors from his grandfathers, Floyd S. Hirsch, who helped build the rail system at the Panama Canal and worked as the chief dispatcher for Union Pacific Railroad in Las Vegas, Nev. and Robert D. Swift, who owned the Bucket O’ Blood Saloon in Linwood, Utah and was a sometime gang member of the Cassidy Gang.
Bob loved to spend time outdoors, he always enjoyed a nice drive counting deer with his lovely wife Mary and their dog Portia (seeing 100 total on their record Sunday drive, going from Cherry Heights to Browns Creek Road). Bob loved people and was known for going around on his usual stops and throwing handfuls of happiness out to others. Bob was a Volunteer Veteran for the Friendly Visitor Program with the Area Agency on Aging. He visited a fellow veteran for two years up until he passed away. They had a lot in common and that is what the Friendly Visitor Program is all about, matching the right person up for that need for them and who knows, maybe for the visitor too, as it was for Bob. He was faithful in going every Tuesday no matter what, even if he didn’t feel well he still went. After all the places he’d been, Oregon is the place he called home. He fell in love with The Dalles and all of you.
Bob had many stories to share that were colorful and warm-hearted just as he was, and will leave a lasting impression on the many friends and family members whose lives he touched. Near the end of his life he started to write some of his experiences to share with his loved ones and ended his thoughts with this sentiment, “To know your time is about up, what would I do different? How would I change my life and outlook? As I reflect, I know at times I thought I was lucky. No, I was blessed.” Wise words from a strong and blessed man.
He is survived by the love of his life, wife Mary Martinez Barrett of The Dalles, Ore., his son, Michael T. Barrett of Carrollton, Ga., his daughter, Katherine C. Barrett of New Albany, Ind., his step-daughter, Brandy Kuliga of Woodland Park, Colo., three sisters, Marjorie Sanchez of Las Vegas, Nev., Beverly Hamon of Fredericksburg, Va., and Claire Smith of Crete, Greece, and three grandsons, Joshua, Joseph, and Jacob Barrett, all of Carrollton, Ga.
We will have a celebration of his life on Sunday April 3, 2016, 2 p.m. at the home of Michael and Shelly Rabinowitz located at 172 SW West Winds Road, White Salmon, Wash.
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