1932 – 2023

SOUTHBURY — John Robert “Bob” Barna Sr, was born on December 20, 1932, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Stephen Edward and Julia (Hrapsky) Barna. When Bob was ten years old, his family moved to Newtown, Connecticut, where he would attend Sandy Hook/Newtown public schools and eventually meet his wife of 65 years, Nancy (Donlon) Barna, at the pharmacy near the Newtown Flagpole.

As a young man, Bob was a member of the Newtown High School basketball team and worked as a caddy at Newtown Country Club. His inherent athleticism continued well into his 80s, where his skill and passion for golf — not to mention seven (!) holes-in-one — was often the talk of the town.

Though a quiet, humble man by nature, Bob was a born storyteller. A Navy veteran of the Korean War, his face would light up while recounting his time as an airplane mechanic aboard the USS Yorktown. Until his retirement, he continued his work in aviation at Avco Lycoming/Textron.

Bob leaves behind his wife, Nancy; his three children, Laurie Gracy, John Barna (Patricia Oliveira), and Donna (Duane) DeCapite; his grandchildren, Sean Barna (Sam Droney), Alicia (Fabian) Campos, Andrea Gracy (Alex Kelly), Nicolas DeCapite, and Annabella DeCapite; and his great grandchild, Emerson. Bob was predeceased in death by siblings Margaret (Margie), Helen, Priscilla (Pearl), Grace, Jolan (Jennie), Zoltan (Larry), and Stephen (Pete), as well as his beloved grandson, Kyle Barna.

Bob is also survived by several nieces and nephews, as well as his former son-in-law, Bruce Gracy, and former daughter-in-law, Elaine Barna.

During his retirement, Bob happily relocated to warmer parts of the country, first to Englewood, Florida, where he spent five years living near his son and two of his grandchildren. In 2004, he moved to Oak Island, North Carolina, to be closer to his youngest grandchildren (and, not coincidentally, to live on a golf course…).

Bob and Nancy enjoyed a vibrant social life in Oak Island — not to mention the ocean and warm winters — but still made regular annual trips to their native Connecticut during the summertime. Bob was happiest in the company of his friends and family, especially if the Giants or UConn Huskies were on TV, and even more especially if the Yankees were beating the Red Sox.

Bob enjoyed all kinds of games, especially shuffleboard, and was no stranger to the occasional $1 scratch-off. In his younger years he served as a Southbury Volunteer Fireman. He was a member of the Moose Lodge and VFW in Oak Island, North Carolina.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 am on Friday, May 12, at Sacred Heart Church, 910 Main Street South in Southbury. Interment will immediately follow in Pine Hill Cemetery.

Friends may call from 4 to 7 pm on Thursday, May 11, in the Daily Chapel of Sacred Heart Church.

For directions, or to leave a message of remembrance, please visit

The Newtown Bee May 12, 2023