Dave Barrett will be remembered on Sunday

Dave Barrett is joined by his father, Nelson Barrett, when Dave won the Edward R. Murrow Award in 2015. — Contributed photo
Dave Barrett is joined by his father, Nelson Barrett, when Dave won the Edward R. Murrow Award in 2015. — Contributed photo

Just five months after winning his third National Headliner Award — for a radio story he produced on the National Film Registry — CBS Radio Network journalist and Wilton resident Dave Barrett died on Sept. 19, 2018. He was 63.

A memorial service for friends and family will take place Sunday, Oct. 7, at 11 a.m., in the Brubeck Room at Wilton Library. His family will begin receiving guests at 10.

An 18-year veteran at the broadcast network, Barrett told The Bulletin after receiving his latest accolade that he strives “to tell a good story — or several — every day.” Barrett also was a three-time winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award, was awarded a Bronze Medal in 1990 from the International Radio Festival, and an Associated Press award for Best Sportscast in Texas.

Barrett was born in Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 27, 1954. He spent 15 years working for ABC Radio Network News before serving as news director for the Fox News Radio Network from 1998 to 2001, when he joined CBS. His long career took him to 10 Olympics, several Super Bowls, political conventions, Wimbledon, and the Persian Gulf. He worked in news and sports, hosted a talk show and was a disc jockey early in his career.

The Edward R. Murrow Award is given by the Radio & Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for “outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.” Barrett’s most recent Murrow award came in 2015 for a piece he did marking the 200th anniversary of The Star-Spangled Banner. He was also honored in 1998 for a profile on Tiger Woods, and in 2011  for his story on Kids’ Digital Day.

While Barrett covered the news of the day, he also covered stories “just for fun,” as he did during the summer of 2016. It was a piece he shared on the top movie dogs of all time. It features his “pal” and fellow Wiltonian Charles Grodin opining on cinematic canines from Beethoven to Lassie.

In speaking to The Bulletin on the occasion of his Murrow award in 2015, Barrett said of his style, “I want to tell you what’s going on. I’m not talking to millions of people; I’m talking to you.” He went on to say, “Even on my worst day, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.”

News accolades were not the only awards Barrett amassed. Here at home, he often served as emcee and auctioneer at the Cannon Grange’s agricultural fairs and was a competitor in the baking contests, a favorite past-time of his.

In 2012, his sweet potato and banana pie won best in show of all the baked goods at the grange fair. Barrett said he was “stunned” by his victory for the recipe he found in an Aunt Bee’s cookbook from Mayberry fame. He even bought his pie back so he could taste it.

It was not his only baking award. A few years earlier he won with a bread recipe and competed in the state baking contest where he “and about 100 other people got honorable mention,” he said.

Barrett’s wife Joyce, said in his retirement Barrett had set his sights on taking a trip “on a slow cargo ship across the ocean with the intention of writing a book about his career — all the places he had been, all kinds of people he had met and many funny stories in between.”

In addition to his wife, Barrett, who lived in Wilton 28 years, is survived by his son Luke.

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