CAMBRIDGE — John “Jack” Anton Barnet Jr., 86, formerly of Gilbert Street, died Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, at Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington, Vt., where he resided for four years. He was the widower of Olga Georoff Barnet, who died in 2000.
Born Nov. 18, 1927, in Port Huron, Mich., he was the son of John A. and Ruth Whitliff Barnet.
After graduating from United States Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1950, he continued his studies at Colombia University, where he earned his master’s degree in Russian studies.
While a cadet at West Point, he was president of the Russian Club and met the love of his life, Olga, a beautiful young Russian girl from Brookyn, N.Y., on a pre-arranged blind date. Jack and Olga were married Jan. 12, 1952.
Their first child, John, was born in Trieste, then a free territory but now part of Italy. Three children followed: Nicholas, born in New York City, N.Y., Peter, born in Oberammergau, Germany, and Maria Alexandra (Alex), born in Columbus, Ga.
As a career military officer, he served the U. S. Army as an intelligence/foreign area officer (Soviet specialist) through the critical years of the Korean and Cold wars. Following his retirement from the military in 1970, Jack worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and later, for the defense contracting firm BDM until 1994.
Jack and Olga were very athletic and enjoyed tennis, horseback riding, canoeing/kayaking, river rafting and running. Jack excelled at road racing and continued to compete and meddle in road races well into his 70s.
Jack and Olga were drawn to the New Skete Monastery community and moved to the married couple’s house in 1995. They spent a year there and considered it a very rewarding spiritual experience. In 1996, they built a house on Gilbert Street where Jack lived until he moved to the Vermont Veterans Home due to failing health.
Jack was a decent, honorable man who epitomized the West Point credo: Duty, Honor, Country. He will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Survivors include his four children, John Barnet and his wife, Laura, of Yonkers, N.Y., Nicholas Barnet and his wife, Marie, of Raleigh, N.C., Peter Barnet of Richmond, Va., and Alex Barnet-Verde and husband, Les, of Cambridge; grandsons, Jake and Zack Barnet of Yonkers; and siblings, Robert Barnet of Virginia, Barbara Tincoff of Michigan and Larry Barnet of New Jersey.
A funeral vigil will begin at 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, at New Skete Monastery, New Skete Road (off Chestnut Hill Road), Cambridge.
A funeral Liturgy will be celebrated beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.
Burial, with military honors will follow at New Skete Cemetery.
For those wishing to remember Jack in a special way, the family requests donations be made to www.AlzheimersFoundation/alzfdn.org.