Brookfield, Connecticut

German Linguist

February 1957-February 1960




Barrett was bprn pm July 4, 1935 in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  He was an only chile, born to Shelby Keefe of Vicksburg and Barrett L. Booth, Sr. of New Orleans, Louisiana.  His father was with the Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg and his mother was a piano teacher.  Barrett attended the Vicksburg schools from kindergarten through high school.  He graduated in 1953 and moved to Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech.  His major was Chemical Engineering.  He was a co-op student.  This allowed him to work one quarter and take classes the next quarter.  The big city proved to be his downfall.  He had too much fun and flunked out in the fall of 1956.  Barrett earned a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1965 at Johns Hopkins University.  In 1957 Barrett enlisted in the army.  He had pneumonia right before his basic training was over and was in the hospital for a week.  He had to wait for the next class to begin in Monterey.  He attended the Army Language School and studied German.  After graduation, Barrett was sent to Frankfurt and then transferred to Berlin.  He traveled to Rome, Venice, the Alps, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels for the World Fair.  He had many wonderful slides of his travels and had many funny stories to share about his experiences in Europe.




After Barrett was discharged in February of 1960, he went back to Atlanta.  He stayed there a few months until an army buddy from Colorado invited him to come visit him.  Barrett packed his car with his belonging and drove to Boulder.  A blind date was arranged for him and in March of 1961, he married Mary Guthrie.  They immediately left for Laurel, Maryland, to start their married life.  With Barrett living so close to Fort Meade, many of the men who made the army a career, kept in touch with him.  Barrett had two children, Larry and Elizabeth born in Maryland in the sixties and a grandchild born in 2000.  He and Mary were married 33 years before he died in 1993.




During and after college, Barrett worked for various contactors in the Washington, D.C., area.  His was a design engineer.  He did not like working for the defense contractors, the hours were long and there was too much traveling involved  In 1970, when he was offered a job in the private sector, he promptly accepted.  He moved his family to Brookfield, Connecticut.  The job was to design and build computerized typesetters.  The typesetter worked well, but the company failed because the lithographers’ union did not want a machine that would replace the jobs of the union’s members.  Barrett then worked for several small companies in the Danbury area.  In 1980, Unimation Robotics hired him.  They build industrial robots for the automakers.  Barrett received five patents while working there.  In 1987, Westinghouse bought Unimation Robotics and moved it to Pittsburgh.  Barrett did not want to relocate, so he started a consulting business.  In 1989, the UPS Research and Development division hired him.  He worked on improving the electronic tablet used by the UPS drivers and on the development of a camera used for scanning information contained in the bull’s eye imprinted on a label that helped the company track packages.  This was the one job Barrett loved because he managed a creative group of young engineers who considered him their mentor.  Barrett loved the technology that brought the computer into existence.  He built computers and designed many digital devices in his  basement in the seventies and eighties.  Before his death his hobby was woodworking.  He was looking forward to retirement.




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