Charles “Chuck” Martel Barrett ’52

Charles “Chuck” Martel Barrett ’52, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away on Aug. 25 at Mayview Convalescent Center in Raleigh, N.C. Barrett died from complications following a stroke. He was born on Dec. 4, 1929, in Robbinsville, N.C., to the late Roscoe Conklin Barrett and Esther Brown Barrett. Barrett was raised in the Barium Springs Home for Children, in Barium Springs, N.C. His friends include many he has known and loved since his childhood at Barium. He often spoke of the many fond memories from his childhood, including summers spent poling down the Catawba River during summer camp, and church services at Little Joe’s Presbyterian Church. He attended Davidson for two years, where he was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He left Davidson to serve in the military during the Korean War, in the U.S. Air Force 51st Fighter Squadron. When he returned from Korea, he enrolled in UNC Chapel Hill, where he earned his undergraduate degree in English. He received his master’s degree in drama and television at UNC, and his doctoral degree in adult education from N.C. State University. The summer after receiving his master’s degree, he joined the cast of The Lost Colony at the Waterside Theater in Manteo, N.C., playing the role of the villain, Simon Fernando. The next fall, he became a professor of English and director of theater at Western Carolina College in Cullowhee, N.C. In 1960, he moved with his family to Raleigh to begin a career with the Department of Community Colleges, where he served as the vice president of the community college system for several years. Following his retirement, he and his wife traveled extensively abroad for 10 years. Barrett was an extraordinarily talented classical pianist, writer, and actor, and thoroughly enjoyed participating in several Raleigh Little Theater productions. He was especially fond of his role in Mame of Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside, for which he received standing ovations. He toured The Rainmaker with Louise Fletcher, the Academy Award winner for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Barrett had a great tenor voice, sang with the Davidson College chorus, the church choir, and at home on Saturday mornings with various artists from his album collection. He was an art enthusiast, and relished any opportunity to explore museums both at home and abroad. He was a lifelong photographer, with a great eye for light and subject. One particular picture, taken after Hurricane Hazel in 1954, won a prize in a UNC photography contest. Barrett was an incredibly talented writer, who loved the English language, the study of words, literature, and poetry. He was most proud of one favorite project, a history of the Barium Springs Home for Children called An Album of Memories, which he wrote and produced in 1994. He was an avid reader, and he was curious about all things, passionate about the arts and his family, and always engaged in the pursuit of knowledge. Barrett is survived by his devoted and loving wife of almost 54 years, Barbara W. Barrett, 1008 Manchester Dr., Raleigh, NC 27609. He and Barbara met on Valentine’s Day 1953, in Raleigh and celebrated their 50th anniversary in the same city in 2005. He is also survived by his daughter, Jean Hudson (Richard) and their daughter, Sarah Catherine Sherrard Hudson; sons, Steve Barrett and Chet Barrett; and sister, Mrs. Maeallen Form. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, including his devoted niece, Barbara Moore; his nephews, Maurice and Mark Williams; Doug and David White; Ben, Ed, and Tim Bundy; Tom and Barry Form; and nieces, Barbara Sanders and Carolyn Gonzales.