Charles Edward “Chuck” Barnard, the former director of the Havelock Parks and Recreation Department, died Sunday from cancer at the Crystal Coast Hospice House in Newport. He was 72.
Barnard served in the Marine Corps for 30 years, retiring as a master gunnery sergeant. He worked in the recreation department for 14 1/2 years, including time as director.
He was a member of the Havelock-Cherry Point Rotary Club and was at one time the chairman of the Havelock Historical Society.
He ran for mayor in 2009 against Jimmy Sanders, coming up just 13 votes short.
“It’s the closest election I’ve ever been in,” Sanders said at the time. “I think Chuck ran a good campaign and he got his voters out.”
Barnard said he was disappointed in the loss and would be back to run again, but earlier this year, when the battle against cancer was taking its toll, Bernard said he would not be able to enter the 2013 municipal race.
Dave Smith succeeded Barnard as recreation director in January 2004.
“If I had questions, he’d help out,” Smith said. “There were several times I might have something on the agenda and Chuck would pull me aside and say ‘Hey, this is what I experienced on this’ and he would call me after the meeting and give me something that might be helpful toward the project.”
Smith said Barnard would frequently walk around the grounds at the recreation center with his first wife Paula, and after her passing, Barnard planted a weeping willow there in her honor. Just down the path, behind two softball fields, Barnard planted another tree for himself, a red maple. Helping him plant the trees was his new wife, Nancy.
Barnard is survived by his wife, three sons, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. A service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Cherry Point Methodist Church. Visitation is scheduled for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the church.