Somerville/Medford Remembering John A. Barrett

John A. Barrett – Of Arlington, Somerville and The Hague, 83, on March 21, 2022. Raised in Somerville, son of the late Joseph F. Barrett and Elvira F Viveiros. Brother of the late Irene, James, Edward and Robert Burton, and the late Joan (Strassmann) Joseph and Ruth Barrett. Survived by William, Gerald and Eugene Barrett.
Husband of the late Mary A. Hanly and father of Catherine Duffy of Somerville, Erin of Lexington and Rachel of The Hague.

Opa (grandfather) of Mary Duffy, Maya and Orion Barrett-Tzannes, and Mac Riezenkamp. Father-in-law of James Duffy, Alexis Tzannes and Eelco Riezenkamp.

A graduate of Somerville High School Class of 1956, he received degrees from Boston University (BA) SUNY-Albany (MA) and Michigan State (MEd).

John moved to the Netherlands in 1962 to begin his teaching career and worked as high school history teacher or principal at the International School of Dordrecht, the American School of The Hague and the International School of Amsterdam, retiring in 1989. Back in the US, John worked in the Harvard University Physics Department and later also at BU Physics Department. For many years, he was “the Referee” at the IgNobel Awards.

John had many interests: reading, history, music, jigsaw puzzles and cards, but his greatest love was sports. He played baseball in the Dutch MLB. He also became a manager and then umpire, authoring the official umpiring rules book “KNBSB Softbal Handboek” (1989). He was also a top referee in the Dutch NBA. When John moved back to the US, he continued umpiring and refereeing on the middle and high school levels in baseball and soccer.

John was also an active member of the Dante Club (Somerville). He was so happy to be able to witness the dominance of Boston sports in the 2000s, and the breaking of “the Curse.”

John also took great delight in all the academic and athletic achievements of his grandchildren.

Funeral Procession from the George L. Doherty Funeral Home, 855 Broadway (Powder House Square) Somerville, Tuesday morning March 29th at 10:00 am followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Ann Church, Somerville at 11:00 am. Relatives and friends invited. Calling Hours Monday March 28th, 4-7 pm. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his memory to

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