Sherman Clayton "Jack" Barnes

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  • "What an awesome , well lived life. May God soften your..."
    - L. M.
  • "Another from the 'Greatest Generation' in God's care. Thank..."
  • "Mr. Barnes was my Math teacher at BHS, (BHS 62), I so..."
    - Linda Gray Houghton
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BRIDGTON - Jack Barnes, teacher, author, farmer and world traveler, based in his beloved Sebago Lakes area, died peacefully Christmas Eve after a short illness. He was 91. Few people knew that Jack was a nickname, given at birth; formally, he was named Sherman Clayton Barnes, and the son of Clayton and Grace Barnes of Sebago.

Following his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Jack taught English, Biology and Social Studies at numerous U.S. high schools and English in Greece and Japan, which gave him the opportunity to become fluent in Greek and Japanese. He also taught at the University of Southern Maine, and the University of Thessaloniki.

The countries of the world, their peoples and cultures, continued to be a major passion in Jack's life, and he eagerly pursued opportunities to study and travel, eventually speaking twelve languages and sharing his insights through his teaching, writing and lectures. On one study tour in Pakistan, he met Diane, and after their marriage, they traveled to one hundred countries, visiting cities from Bethlehem to Timbuktu, and sights from Machu Pichu to Victoria Falls.

Jack was an avid reader, particularly of Maine authors, and was well-known for articles he wrote for magazines such as "Down East" and "BitterSweet", and several newspapers. He conducted interviews with Maine and New England authors that appeared in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers: an excellent selection of them is in his book "The Best of Barnes". Jack and Diane co-wrote books in the "Images of America" series, combining carefully selected historical photographs with background commentary.

Other activities Jack pursued enthusiastically were sports, particularly basketball, which he played most of his life, and farming. Local restaurants served vegetables from his large garden. Family, friends and neighbors all benefited from his harvests and his generosity. He also raised sheep, turkeys and chickens for consumption, but proudly reserved his rare breed chickens to show at local fairs.

Jack's survivors are his wife of forty years, Diane Newsom Barnes of Hiram; his sister, Mary Barnes Cote of Roseburg, Ore.; his son, Brooke Barnes of Harpswell, his daughter, Tanya Barnes of Winthrop; and his grandchildren, Sam Barnes of Telluride, Colo. and Jesse Barnes of Austin, Texas.

He was predeceased by his son, David Barnes.

Celebration of Life, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2 p.m., at Hiram Arts Center, 8 Hancock Ave., Hiram, Maine.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Soldiers Memorial Library, Hiram, Maine.

Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Jan. 9, 2019
bullet U.S. Navy bullet World War II
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