Peter Joseph Barnes Jr. of Edison New Jersey died on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 one day shy of his 90th Birthday.
Born September 12, 1928 in Providence, Rhode Island, Peter was the sixth of seven children born to Charlotte (née Walsh) and Peter J. Barnes, Sr.
Barnes graduated from LaSalle Academy in Providence and served in the U.S. Army Military Police, later receiving a football scholarship to Marianapolis Prep in Thompson, Ct. He graduated with honors from Providence College in 1954 and received an appointment to the FBI where he enjoyed a remarkable career until his retirement in 1980.
Following his retirement, Barnes embarked on a career as a Security Consultant which led him to the investigation of several notable cases. Barnes also served as Director of Security for the New Jersey Devils seeing the team to their first Stanley Cup.
Barnes served 11 years in the New Jersey Legislature where he represented the 18th District. He was the Majority Whip and Chairman of the Law and Public Safety Committee. In addition, he was a member of the Regulatory Oversight Committee and Human Services Committee. During his time in the Assembly, Barnes was the primary sponsor of 62 bills that were signed into law, including but not limited to a landmark bill to reform criminal sentencing practices, smart gun legislation, and stem cell research. Over the years, Barnes established a reputation for candor and collegiality.
Following his retirement from the Assembly, Barnes was appointed as Chairman of the New Jersey Parole Board assisting in the formation of prison reentry programs for parolees. Additionally, Barnes served two terms as Chairman of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization. Barnes also served on the Executive Board for the Metuchen-Edison YMCA where the Peter J. Barnes Community Champion Award was established in his honor. In addition, Barnes was named Irishman of the Year by the Friendly sons of Saint Patrick and received the Good Citizens Award by the Boys Scouts of America. For twenty years he was a proud member of the Metuchen Savings Bank Board of Directors. Barnes was a faithful communicant at St Francis Cathedral in Metuchen.
Barnes was predeceased by his son-in-law Rick Stewart and his daughter-in-law Dr. Virginia (née Monsul).Barnes is survived by the love of his life wife Barbara (née Gallogly) with whom he shared 63 years of marriage, his sister Bette of Chagrin Falls, OH, his children Peter J. Barnes III of Edison, John Patrick Barnes of Sea Girt, Sheila Clemente of New Canaan, CT, Kelly Stewart of Darien, CT, as well as his daughter-in-law Katie Barnes, son-in-law Paolo Clemente, and his ten beloved grandchildren.
Near the end of his life, Barnes was asked to sum up the beliefs most important to him. Faith, Family and Flag, he commented, in that order.
A visitation will be held on Friday, September 14, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Costello- Runyon Funeral Home, 568 Middlesex Ave (Rt.27), Metuchen, NJ 08840. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 10:15 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral, 32 Elm Ave., Metuchen, NJ 08840 followed by interment at Hillside Cemetery, 52 Lincoln Ave., Metuchen, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Central Jersey Spinal Cord Association, PO Box 74, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, OR the MEWSA YMCA, 483 Middlesex Ave, Metuchen, NJ 08840.