Ronald L. Barnes, 80, of Huntsville passed away Sunday. Born in Winfield, KS, the son of Boeing engineer, Ronald graduated from Wichita State with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Masters Degrees in Physics and Electronic Engineering. He came to Huntsville in 1986 as part of the Space Shuttle disaster evaluation team. Ron was well known for his work on the Saturn V and he was the Principal Engineer on the Space Station Freedom. Ron was also the chief R&D engineer with NCR, developing the first writable CD rom. He was the founder and CEO of Vistek, Inc, Prozone Water Products, Inc. and Ecozone, Inc. As a successful consultant with corporations including NASA, Boeing and Lockheed, Ron was considered a leading authority in Optics, Ozone and Advanced Oxidation Processes and Design for Water and Air purification systems. He was an inventor, specializing in optics and lasers, and holds 45 patents for may items that impacted our everyday lives such as grocery store scanners, police radar scanning devices and Doppler radar. Ron was honored as a VIP at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center “Inventors’ Ball, which celebrated the best of Huntsville’s vast inventing community. His water purification system used by NASA on the Space Station was featured in their exhibit, “101 Rocket City Inventions”.
In spite of his vast technical knowledge and abilities, Ron had a most humble, kind and giving spirit. He loved to dance, sing and write poetry. He was a member of First United Methodist Church where he sang in the choir for 30 years. Ron adored his grandchildren and loved mentoring to them and many other inquiring young minds.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Kirby and Mary Luona Barnes and his wife, Geraldine Barnes. He is survived by his children; Kimberly Deay (Charles) of Des Moines, IA, Michael Barnes (Maggie) of Grant, AL, and Cherie Brook (Ronald) of Huntsville; grandchildren Kristina Barnes, Dwight O’Dell Deay, Michelle Kraus, Courtney Overgaard, Paige Muhlenhaus, Jennifer McGiboney, Michael Barnes, Kathleen Brock, Lela Barnes, Caroline Brook, and Ronald Brook; great-grandchildren, Ethan Boenker, Wyatt Boenker, Joseph Kraus, Dominic Kraus, Juliann McGiboney, Jessalynn McGiboney, Anna Overgaard, Axel Overgaard and Henrik Overgaard; and sister, Gloria Forsythe.
Visitation will be from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Saturday, February 20, 2021 at First United Methodist Church. The funeral service will follow at 11:30 a.m. with Rev. Coy Hallmark officiating. Burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery.