American Veteran 01

Frederic James Barstow

July 20, 1942 ~ December 26, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old

Frederic Barstow Obituary

Frederic J. Barstow (Fred), 81, died on Tuesday, December 26, 2023.  Born in Farmington, CT to the late Harold Ellison and Adeline (Scarritt) Barstow, Fred spent his formative years there and fondly remembered his neighborhood and school friends and the adventures of his youth.  He was a graduate of Farmington High School, class of 1961, where he was known famously for his unique ability to walk across the gymnasium upside down on his hands, a testament to his playful spirit and physical agility. 

Fred proudly served his country in the US Navy, having joined as a reservist during his junior year of high school. Following graduation, he was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Amphion and later continued his service in the Navy Reserve. His experience in the Navy instilled in him a lifelong love of country and taught him valuable skills that he used throughout his life and career.  After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Fred returned to Farmington to start his family. He later lived in Manchester, Stafford, and most recently in Ellington, CT. He also enjoyed spending time in Melbourne Beach, FL, escaping New England winters. 

Fred was employed for nearly 20 years as a refrigeration mechanic for New England Mechanical Services, installing and repairing commercial HVAC systems.  He was one of the company’s first employees when it was founded in 1966.  With a strong work ethic and a desire to be self-employed, he and a business partner first opened Shamrock Cleaners in Willimantic, CT in the 1980’s followed by Shamrock Laundry & Cleaners in Stafford Springs, which he operated until retiring and selling the business. 

Well known and well liked, Fred was a friend and mentor to many, taking people under his wing in both life and business. He was a great conversationalist with a hearty laugh, who enjoyed conversing with friends and strangers alike. His gregarious and outgoing personality allowed him to make fast friends wherever he went. Never one to be idle, Fred was a tinkerer as well as an avid reader who loved learning new facts and skills and always shared tidbits that intrigued him. He was not one to make rash decisions, often mulling things over for a long time before coming to a final decision. An adventurer at heart, he enjoyed exploring Connecticut’s scenic backroads on his motorcycle.  

Fred had been a longtime member of the Hartford Elks Club Lodge #19 since the 1960’s and enjoyed spending time more recently at the Rockville Lodge. He was also a member of the British American Club in Manchester for many years, places where he forged friendships over the decades. 

He is survived by his daughter, Cathleen Barstow and her husband Michael Hass of Danvers, MA, his two grandchildren, Jared Hass and Norah Hass, and many friends. He was predeceased by his parents and a brother, Roy S. Barstow. 

Being ‘Grandpa Fred’ to his grandchildren, Jared and Norah, was a source of pride and joy to him. He loved them with all of his heart, encouraged them in all of their endeavors and was exceptionally proud of their accomplishments and the people they have grown up to be. 

Fred lived life on his own terms up until his final day and will be remembered and deeply missed by the many who knew and loved him throughout his lifetime. 


ARRANGEMENTS: Friends and loved ones are invited to celebrate Fred’s life and share their memories of him on Friday, January 12 from 2-4pm at Holmes-Watkins Funeral Home 400 Main Street Manchester, CT. A private burial will be held at the family's convenience.

For those who wish, donations in memory of Fred can be made to the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs by mail at: CT Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 287 West Street, Rocky Hill, CT 06067, Attn: T. Marzik, Community Outreach, or online at:

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Calling Hours / Wake
January 12, 2024

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Holmes Watkins Funeral Home
400 Main Street
Manchester, CT 06040


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