H. Brock Barkley, Jr., beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, died on January 11, 2023. He was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on April 5, 1927, the son of H. Brock Barkley and Thelma Maurine Dutt. He was raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1949, and received a second Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1955.
He married his high school sweetheart, Edith Sumner Stowe, in 1950. During his 12 years of naval service, they lived in Rhode Island, California, Virginia, Idaho, and Massachusetts. Also during those years, their three children were born. Following their Navy years they lived in Michigan, Ohio, Idaho, and ultimately settled in Lynchburg in 1981.
In the Navy, he served on the USS Valley Forge, then was selected as one of the first four officers in Admiral Rickover’s Nuclear Navy program to develop nuclear surface ships. He trained at the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Idaho in nuclear physics and engineering, and was involved in the construction and testing of the nuclear reactors for the Navy’s first nuclear-powered surface ship, the USS Long Beach. Once it was commissioned, he served as power officer, a key member of its first crew.
After leaving the Navy in 1961, he continued his scientific and nuclear career. He worked at Bendix as supervisor of the Space Power Section. He worked for NASA at the Plum Brook Station as Chief of the Reactor Division. He worked for Aerojet Nuclear Company, the prime contractor for the Department of Energy at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, as the Assistant General Manager for Power Reactors. He then held several positions at Babcock & Wilcox, including Manager of International Business and Director of Space and Defense Systems. He ended his career as a consultant for Ebasco, in charge of all reactor systems.
He enjoyed visiting his family in the places they lived including California, Oregon, Wisconsin, Haiti, Mali, and Nepal. He enjoyed many world-wide tours and cruises after his retirement. He also regularly organized family reunions in interesting places around the country so the entire family could be together.
He served his community in many ways. He was church organist, served as deacon and elder in the Presbyterian church, served on school funding committees, community music organizations, and civic organizations. He was a member of the IEEE, the Rotary Club, and the American Guild of Organists. He loved being surrounded by family, listening to classical music and opera performances, skiing with family, sailing, and he never missed his daily crossword puzzle or Jeopardy. He was a life long cat lover.
He is survived by his three children, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren: Daughter Margaret Barkley Byess, spouse Richard Byess, and their children: Abigail Byess; and James Byess, partner Meghan Dalton. Son H. Brock Barkley III, spouse Sebastiana Costello Barkley, and their children: Benjamin Barkley, spouse Rachelann McIntyre Barkley, and child Javonta McIntyre; Timothy Barkley and child Eevee Yard; Joshua Barkley; and Katherine Barkley Richardson, spouse Virgil Richardson, children Eleanor Richardson and Tobias Richardson. Daughter Jane Stowe Barkley and her children: Emily Barkley-Levenson, spouse Jeremy Kopman, child Rafael Barkley-Kopman; and Amanda Barkley-Levenson, spouse James Anderson.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at the Westminster-Canterbury Chapel. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in his memory to sponsor a dog or cat at the Lynchburg Humane Society: https://lynchburghumane.org/donations/honor-memory/.
Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.