May 24, 2024


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Previous condition Sen. Wallace Barnes, business enterprise chief and Aetna board member who ran for governor, dies at 94

Previous condition Sen. Wallace Barnes, a prosperous business leader, veteran pilot and Republican Social gathering stalwart for a long time who ran for governor, died Thursday at age 94.


As an achieved, higher-level political participant who retired as main govt officer of a large manufacturing enterprise that has borne his family members name for a lot more than 150 years, Barnes never dropped the popular touch in his hometown of Bristol, buddies said. With many years of expertise in the business enterprise and political worlds, he was identified for offering suggestions and counsel to youthful aspirants in all those fields.

Former condition Republican Chairman Chris Healy reported that Barnes was a drive in party politics, acquiring attended 8 national conventions by 2008.

“He experienced this kind of a excellent, total existence, and he was just one of the finest adult men I have ever satisfied in politics or lifestyle,” reported Healy, a longtime political operative. “He by no means lost who he was, despite good fame and wealth. He realized presidents and was included in global enterprise. But he by no means lost his bearings in lifestyle. Previous university in several methods. He gave me good advice when I was chairman on how to deal with men and women.”

Barnes was married for 34 a long time to Barbara Hackman Franklin, a enterprise government who became the U.S. Secretary of Commerce underneath President George H. W. Bush. She was sworn in by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Working day O’Connor in 1992 as both equally Bush and his wife, Barbara, stood close by.

They fulfilled just about every other although the two were being serving on the board of directors of Aetna, the Hartford-based insurer that was an even more robust powerhouse many years back in business enterprise and metropolis circles. Barnes served on the Aetna Life and Casualty Co. board for 25 several years from 1971 to 1996, as nicely as the board of Yale-New Haven Medical center.

“These are individuals who enjoy at a much greater degree,” Healy claimed. “But they under no circumstances experienced any airs about them. He was the major man in town, but he was the George Bailey-type of dude.”

A veteran pilot who experienced his possess landing strip on the family’s property at the highest level in Bristol, Barnes would consider his twin-motor airplane on relatives trips to locations like Greenland. He utilised his aircraft to get to small business meetings, slicing down on the time it would acquire for most other business executives.

In politics, Barnes served as a condition senator and was the Senate Republican chief in 1969. He ran for governor in 1970 in a losing effort and hard work against Thomas Meskill in Connecticut’s initially statewide party most important. Immediately after that, he remained for many years as a economic contributor and attended various conventions and election evening activities.

Point out Rep. Whit Betts, a Bristol Republican, married Barnes’ daughter, Jarre, in 1974 and has found the family up near for decades.

“As a son-in-legislation, he was like my 2nd Father,” Betts said. “I cannot notify you how much he assisted me. He lived a entire, entire everyday living for 94 many years. He was truly a Renaissance gentleman, an outstanding philanthropist, and quite generous in responding to any individual who approached him. When he was CEO, he would cook dinner corn on the cob for the personnel, and he understood everybody by their first names. That was a time when people today actually were being household.’’

Betts included, “He strongly considered in getting included in the local community and getting care of his workers. He did so substantially in Bristol in a pretty small-critical way.”

Christopher Keating can be reached at [email protected].

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