E. Howard Barnes Jr., a retired mechanical engineer who served in the Navy during World War II, died of complications from a digestive disorder Wednesday at St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 81.
Mr. Barnes was born in Baltimore and raised on Parkington Avenue in Northwest Baltimore. He was a 1940 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and enlisted in the Navy before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
"His was one of the first units called to active duty in Baltimore," said his wife of 57 years, the former Virginia M. Macferran.
Mr. Barnes served in the Pacific aboard a destroyer, where he was a chief petty officer and water tender in the ship's engine room. He was discharged in 1945.
He returned to Baltimore and attended the Johns Hopkins University's night school, where he studied mechanical engineering.
A heating, ventilation and air-conditioning expert, he went to work in 1950 at Egli & Gompf in Baltimore. From 1968 to 1971, he was employed by Miller & Scherlholtz, also in Baltimore.
Mr. Barnes worked on large commercial projects that included Hopkins, and at several schools and hospitals.
He worked for five years for a Johnstown, Pa., engineering firm before returning to Miller & Scherlholtz, from which he retired in 1987.
After retiring, he and his wife restored a home in Dry Run, Pa., then lived in Lakeland, Fla., from 1994 to 2002. They had lived in Bowie since last year.
Mr. Barnes enjoyed working on home improvement projects and doing odd jobs around his home.
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 1 p.m. Monday at St. John Roman Catholic Church, 43 Monroe St. in Westminster.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Barnes is survived by a son, E. Howard Barnes III of Purcellville, Va.; five daughters, Nancy B. Wambach of Harrisburg, Pa., Kristin Kelly of Manchester, Jane M. Marshall of Jamison, Pa., Jodi Franklin of Owings and Katherine Devlin of Westminster; a sister, Eleanor Smith of Silver Spring; 16 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.