WELLFLEET - James A. Barrio Jr., 99 of Charleston, SC died Thursday June 29, 2017, two days after his 99th birthday.
He was the husband of the late Beatrice (Kew) Barrio, who died in 2016. They were married for 67 years.
Born in Wellfleet, James was the son of the late James A. and Helen M. (Boudro) Barrio. He is a direct descendant of Nicolas Barillot, one of the first settlers of Nova Scotia, then known as Acadia. He is a 1936 graduate of Wellfleet High School and was one of seven graduating students.
James was a member of the first United States air unit over occupied Europe on July 4, 1942. He served in seven campaigns during WWII within the European Theater of Operations (ETO) covering England, North Africa and Italy. He managed and operated the Signal Corps Station in North Africa during the invasion of Southern France. After the invasion of Southern France, he was reassigned to 65th Fighter Squadron, of the 57th Fighter Group, Corsica, Italy. From there, his group continued into Northern Italy and on to Verona, when the ETO ended. After the German surrender, the 57th Fighter Group was assigned to the Pacific Theater. While in transit, word was received that Japan had surrendered, his squadron and troop ship were the first to enter Boston Harbor and disembark. For his service to the French as Sergeant James Barrio, Jr, he was awarded the honor, Croix de Guerre with Palm, for action and duty associated with in the training of the Free French and the South African Air Forces.
In the post-war period, he met and married Beatrice Kew in 1949. James worked 32 years for the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, Division of Highways, retiring as Senior Civil Engineer in 1986.
He is a lifetime member of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in addition to memberships in the Universal Lodge, AF & AM, Nauset Light Daylight Lodge, AF & AM and Howard Lodge, AF & AM. He additionally holds membership in Sandwich, Chapter 221, Order of the Eastern Star (which is now a combined organization of Masona #134, Orleans #201, and Sandwich Chapters.) He is a Past Patron of Orleans Chapter, Order of Eastern Star (OES). He is a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Cape Cod Chapter #96.
He is survived by his daughters, Deborah Barrio Belisle, RN and her husband, Alexander, SC, and Donna Barrio, PharmD and her partner Lynn West all of Charleston, SC; his favorite brother-in-law, James Kew and his wife, Jamie of Las Vegas, NV; four grandchildren, Denise Kurtz, DVM and her husband David of Canandaigua, NY; Capt. Scott Brown, DMD, US Army and his wife, Lauren of Oahu, HI, Lindsay Eppehimer, RN and her husband, Brett of Charleston SC, and Jennifer Brown, RN of Tampa, FL; five great granddaughters, Evelyn, Anna, Norah, Carina and Sara; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours, with a Masonic and Eastern Star Service for both Jim and Bea, will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday October 6, 2017 in the Hallett Funeral Home, 273 Station Ave., South Yarmouth.
Interment will be private.