Beverly — Paul Joseph Barnico, 86, died peacefully in his home on March 2, 2014. He was predeceased by the love of his life, Katherine McGoe Barnico, who died in 2001.
Paul was born on January 2, 1928, in Ansonia, Conn., and was the son of George A. and Laura M. Barnico. He attended Ansonia schools and was a Life Scout. He graduated from Ansonia High School in 1945, playing clarinet in the band, and second base on a championship baseball team. Most importantly, in high school he met Kay McGoe, whom he would marry and share his life.
Paul received a Brooker Scholarship to attend Dartmouth College in 1945. His studies were suspended for service in the United States Army, serving at Fort McClellan, Ala., Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Benning, Ga. He returned to Dartmouth in 1947, and graduated from the Thayer School of Engineering with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering in 1950 and 1951.
One day in the basement of the engineering school, Paul came upon a strange-looking device that would consume his interest for his life: a jet aircraft engine captured from the German Air Force during World War II. Upon graduation from college, he commenced a 37-year career in the aircraft engine business at General Electric in Lynn. The 1950s were an exciting time in that nascent business, and Paul relished the work. He said that in those days the initials “GE” stood for “Great Engines,” and he deeply valued his colleagues there. His team designed and manufactured the T-58 helicopter engine; variants of the original are still flying today. He worked on many other projects as the business grew. He later obtained a Master in Business Administration from Northeastern University, and managed projects in business marketing and forecasting.
Upon retirement from General Electric in 1988, he began 26 years of service on the Beverly Airport Commission as a commissioner and chairman. He took part in many of the improvements of the airport during his tenure. He made close friends of many of his colleagues on the commission and the airport staff. His honesty, integrity and dedication earned him wide respect. He was recently honored by a resolution by the Beverly City Council for his many contributions to the airport.
Paul was a man of good humor and great intellectual curiosity. He was truly interested in people and their stories, and loved to lend them a hand through a timely insight or relevant clipping from a newspaper or magazine. Throughout his life, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. His grandchildren were his special delight, and he spent hours as their mentor, biggest fan and steadfast friend.
He is survived by his three children and their families, whom he loved so well, Thomas A. Barnico and his wife, Katherine, of Westwood, and their children, Kristen and Thomas A. Jr., Karen Barnico Lee and her husband, Jeffrey of Danvers and their daughter, Alison, and Lauren Barnico Doherty and her husband, Edward, of Beverly and their children, Kathryn, Michael, Paul, and Elizabeth. Paul is also survived by his sister, Loretta Barnico Rossi and her husband, Robert, of Clayton, Calif.; his brother-in-law, Edward J. McGoe and his wife, Virginia, of Ansonia, Conn.; his brother-in-law, Roger Nowlin of Athol; and eight beloved nieces and nephews. He also leaves his best friend, Louis Varadi Sr. of Danvers. He was predeceased by his wife, Kay; his parents; and his younger brother, Charles F. Barnico.
ARRANGEMENTS: His funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, in St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 253 Cabot St., Beverly, at 11 a.m. Visiting hours will be held on Friday in the Grondin Funeral Home, 376 Cabot St., Beverly, from 4 to 7 p.m. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to attend. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Beverly. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Paul and Katherine Barnico Scholarship Fund for Beverly High School, c/o Lauren Barnico Doherty, 13 Eisenhower Ave., Beverly, MA 01915.
For more information and to send condolences, please visit www.grondinfuneralservices.com.