Richard L. (Dick) Barnes, 88, left this Earth on November 10, 2020 in Canonsburg General Hospital, surrounded by his family, after a brief illness. As one of the most active members of the communities he served, he had a reputation as a born leader and a man who always delivered what he promised.
Dick was born December 5, 1931, in Cecil Township, the son of the late Lee A. and Doris L. (Hawkins) Barnes and lived in Lawrence (Hills Station) his entire life. He was the last of his immediate family. His older sister Deloris and younger brother Gerald preceded him in death. He was baptized a Methodist and converted to Catholicism when he married.
He was a 1949 graduate of Cecil Township High School. After high school, Dick served in the United States Navy for eight years. During the Korean War he sailed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway and was awarded five battle ribbons. He was also privileged to be on the Midway when it embarked on a world cruise, ending in 1955.
After returning from the Navy, Dick enrolled the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in 1959 with a BA in English.
In June of 1958, Dick married the love of his life, Patricia (VanTassel), also from Lawrence (Hill Station), who survives. Together they had three sons, Jeff (Lisa Baker), Dennis, and Brad (Eron Salandra), ten grandchildren, Chelsea (Tyler) Geist, Casey Barnes, Kindle (David) Fisher, Katie Barnes, Trevor Barnes, Jeremy (Leslie) Barnes, Brittany Barnes, Blake Barnes, Liam (Andrea) Barnes and Shannon Barnes, seven great-grandchildren, Coral Geist, Tyde Geist, Rylee Fisher, Tatum Fisher, Jacob Barnes, William Barnes and Sloane Barnes, and many nieces and nephews.
In his early years, Dick worked as a golf caddy, a construction worker, a warehouseman and a retail clerk. While attending college, he was employed as a reporter and feature writer for the Observer Publishing Company and a reporter and on-air news director at WCNG AM 540, a Canonsburg radio station.
Upon graduation, Dick was hired by Equitable Gas Company as a Public Relations Specialist. Later he joined Fourth Allegheny Corporation, an advertising and public relations firm. He served many clients by producing radio and television spots, industrial, commercial, and retail magazine ads, newspaper ads, and formulating public relations events. He became active in politics and led many political campaigns for local and state candidates.
Dick later became the president of Fourth Allegheny Advertising, serving regional clients in several states. In 1965, he added Publix Publications to the advertising agency and founded the weekly newspaper, The Advertiser. The paper was initially started as an advertising vehicle for the newly constructed Donaldson’s Crossroads Shopping Center but quickly grew into an important tool for advertising local businesses and sharing community news. During its peak, the periodical was over 100 pages per issue. A sister newspaper, The Almanac, was added to serve part of Allegheny County and is still published today. The Observer Publishing Company purchased controlling interest in 1981.
In addition, Dick volunteered much of his spare time to serve other entities. He was president of the Hill Station Manor HOA of Lawrence, the Deep Creek Lake HOA, and the Wisp Resort Hotel, now known as The Lodge at Wisp in Maryland. Dick also was chairman of the board of Canonsburg General Hospital and a member of the Western Pennsylvania Hospital Association. He was elected as a Supervisor for Cecil Township and served as Chairman of the Cecil Township Board of Supervisors. He was a member of the Parks and Recreation Committee and was currently serving as Vice President of the Township Municipal Authority.
In 1979, Dick purchased his first Hallmark Shop in McKeesport, PA then shortly afterwards opened Pat’s Hallmark Shop at Donaldson’s Crossroads Shopping Center and operated it for 35 years. Dick, his wife and sons owned as many as nine Hallmark shops in Pennsylvania and Florida simultaneously.
Dick surrounded himself with family and friends and rarely did anything alone. He and his wife owned homes at Deep Creek Lake, MD and in Florida for over 30 years, making many new friends there. He enjoyed inviting family and friends to boat, waterski, snow ski, visit Disney World and to just enjoy being together in the mountain air or the Florida sun. He loved traveling with his wife and grandchildren in his motorcoach and visited family, friends, and sites all over the country.
Dick loved people and they loved him back. He had a positive outlook on life, and even the hardest work never seemed like work to him. He was a very generous, giving person who helped many when they could not help themselves. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Friends and family are welcome from 2 pm until 6 pm Saturday November 14, 20 in Salandra Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc. Joseph P. Salandra LFD owner/supervisor 304 West Pike Street Canonsburg 724-745-8120. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Celebrated in the Holy Rosary worship site of St. Oscar Romero Parish in Muse followed by interment in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies with full Military Honors accorded by the VFW Post 191 Honor Guard and the United States Navy to be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Canonsburg City Mission 4 West Pike Street Canonsburg,. To view or extend condolences please visit www.salandrafunerals.com.
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