William P. Barnes, Jr.

In Memoriam: William P. Barnes, Jr.

August 08, 2011

In Memoriam: William P. Barnes, Jr., 1925-2011

William P. Barnes, Jr.

William "Bill" P. Barnes, Jr., an OSA Fellow Emeritus, died 8 August 2011 in Acton, Massachusetts. He was 85, and had survived pancreatic cancer for nearly six years.

Barnes was born in 1925 in Wilmington, Delaware. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1946 with a Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering. He received two Masters degrees: one in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1948, and a second in Physics from Catholic University of America in 1958.

Barnes worked as an engineer at various corporations, including DuPont, Goodyear, Atlantic Research and Itek. In 1986, he became a chief scientist, and later was a consultant, for Precision Optics Corporation in Gardner, Massachusetts. He also taught as an adjunct professor at MIT.

An OSA member for 52 years, Barnes served two terms as President of OSA's New England Section. He was elected an OSA Fellow in 1988. He served two terms as President of OSA's New England Section. He was also a member of SPIE (The International Society for Optical Engineering) and the American Academy of Mechanics, and he was a Life Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Barnes published papers in professional journals such as Applied Optics and Space Optics, and he served as the editor of Reconnaissance and Surveillance Window Design Handbook for the Air Force Avionics Laboratory. He also held five U.S. patents, most notably in mirror and laser welding methods.

Although physically limited as a player of soccer and golf, Barnes was an enthusiastic sports fan. He was adept at languages, knowledgeable in many areas of science beyond his specialties, and a classical music fan, particularly of Mozart. He enjoyed traveling, especially to California, Maine and Florida, and he loved, in addition to his family, a good meal, good book, and a challenging crossword puzzle.

Barnes is survived by his wife of 62 years, Phyllis M. Barnes, two daughters, two grandchildren and a sister.

If you would like to make a memorial donation to the OSA Foundation in honor of William P. Barnes, Jr., please visit www.osa-foundation.org/give. The family has specified that memorial contributions may also be made to St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, 89 Arlington St., Acton, MA, 01720.