Samuel Barnes Sr., city firefighter, dies

He worked for Fire Department for 33 years

  • Samuel Barnes
Samuel Barnes
December 21, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore Sun reporter

Samuel Barnes Sr., a retired city firefighter and longtime East Baltimore resident, died Dec. 10 of heart failure at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 82.

Mr. Barnes was born and raised in East Baltimore and spent his entire life there. He was a 1946 graduate of Dunbar High School.

A private, he served in the Air Force from 1946 until 1949. During the early 1950s, he attended what is now Morgan State University before joining the Baltimore Fire Department in 1954.

Mr. Barnes, who was an early pioneering African-American firefighter in the city, family members said, was assigned to Engine 34 on South Caroline Street. He retired in 1987.

Mr. Barnes was a skilled handyman and enjoyed working on projects around his home. He also was an avid Ravens and Orioles fan.

His wife of 51 years, the former Bernice Frisby, died in 2004.

He was an active member of the William S. Barnes Sr. Memorial Apostolic Church, where services were held Thursday.

Surviving are two sons, Samuel Barnes Jr. of Baltimore and Adrian Barnes of Washington; a daughter, Saundra Jones of Baltimore; two brothers, Bishop William S. Barnes Sr. of Windsor Mill and Dr. Michael Barnes of Hempstead, N.Y.; two sisters, the Rev. Josephine Diggs of Waverly and Delores Barnes of Windsor Mill; 11 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and three step-grandchildren. Another daughter, Elizabeth Randall, died in 2000.

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