Captain John H. Barrett, a native of Mobile, Alabama, was born on February 6, 1929. He graduated from McGill Institute in 1948. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard as a Private in Company E, 200th Infantry Regiment, 31st Division. In August 1949, he was appointed by the Alabama State Pilotage Commission as an Apprentice Pilot. That fall, he attended the University of Alabama (Mobile extension). Upon completing his apprenticeship with the Mobile Bar Pilots in January 1951, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy during the Korean War. At the war's conclusion, he was serving as a 2nd Class Quartermaster aboard the USS Merrick and participated in Operation Big Switch, a prisoner-of-war exchange. In September 1954, he received an Honorable Discharge and enrolled in California Maritime Academy. He was Battalion Commander his senior year and graduated in 1957, first in his class with an original USCG 2nd Mate License.
After graduation, he sailed for Texaco Marine in all officer positions, from Third Mate to Captain. In July 1964, the Panama Canal Company appointed him a Pilot Trainee. In April of 1966, he became an Unlimited Panama Canal Pilot. On March 3, 1967, he was branched by the Alabama State Pilotage Commission as a Mobile Bar Pilot. He served as the Secretary/Treasurer for 28 of his 30 years in the Mobile Bar Pilot Association until he retired on February 3, 1997.
John was preceded in death by his father, Toxey Forrest Barrett, his mother, Dorothy Brennan McQuillen, his stepfather Robert McQuillen, and his sister Patricia Rose Barrett. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Della Easley Barrett. Four children: Karen (Greg) Divin of Mobile, Kyle (Lois) Barrett of Birmingham, Captain Kirk (Linda) Barrett of Point Clear, and Kerrie (Moni) Carron of Niceville, Florida. Seven grandchildren: Mary Katherine Barrett, Kyle Barrett Jr., Lena (Miles) Sharp, Dillard Barrett of Birmingham, Kellie Barrett of Dallas, Texas, Henry Barrett of Nashville, Tennessee, and Adeline Carron of Niceville, Florida. One great-granddaughter, Lucy Sharp, a sister, Dorothy Suk, and many nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, July 10,2023 from Our Savior Catholic Church at 11am. The family will receive friends from 10am until service time at the church. Interment will be in Mobile Memorial Gardens.