Robert Barrentine was a giant of a man, both physically and morally. He believed, above all, in family and in giving back. He served his country in the military, as a federal civilian, and in the community through the Boy Scouts of America. After 22 years in the U.S. Army, he worked as a civilian in the U.S. Dept. of Defense, from which he retired only months before his passing. His family feels that by donating his corneas after his sudden death from heart failure at age 62, Bob was able to continue his good works.
When Robert Barrentine was growing up, his family moved so many times he lost count. He claimed that he had lived in 50 states, three territories and two foreign countries, all before he joined the military. His wife Michelle believes that the constant change contributed to his broad view of life and his abilities to adapt and learn.
Bob was a giant of a man, both physically and morally. He believed, above all, in family and in giving back. He served his country in the military, as a federal civilian, and in the community through the Boy Scouts of America.
Bob was known to be both opinionated and demanding. He set high standards for himself and for others, gaining him the respect of adults and young Scouts who, years later, realized the lasting positive influence Bob had on their lives.
As an adult, the Boy Scout mission – to help boys become young men who are leaders of good character, good citizens, and able of body and mind – was one of Bob's enduring passions. Although never a Scout as a boy, Bob served as an assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, troop committee chair, district trainer, and even a Girl Scout leader for a short while.
Bob spent an honorable career of nearly 22 years in the U.S. Army, where he served in a variety of units and locations, including in Vietnam. He continued to serve his country as a civilian in the U.S. Dept. of Defense, from which he retired only months before his passing.
As Bob neared retirement, he decided to try motorcycling. He and Michelle had a great adventure driving to California in the summer of 2009. As his first (and sadly, only) big retirement adventure, he rode his Harley-Davidson to Daytona, Fla., with two friends for "Bike Week," just days before he died suddenly of heart failure at age 62 on March 20, 2010.
Bob was very proud of both his daughter, Laura, and his son, Joe. One of his greatest joys was attending Joe's wedding in 2007, but he never met his beautiful granddaughter born in 2011.
"The decision to donate his corneas means that he was able to continue being a blessing after death," said Michelle. "We are proud and grateful to know that Bob accomplished his goal: to leave this world a little better place than he found it."