Haverhill — As the blizzard of 2013 began to wane, so ended the force of nature that was David Barson. Dave was born in Manchester, N.H. to Fannie and Joseph Barson. He and his family later moved to Haverhill, where they had a small farm in Riverside and Dave began his life-long love affair with blueberries.
Dave became a local sports hero during his years at Haverhill High School where he was known as "Flash". He captained the Brown and Gold track team and held nine track records, the last which was broken three decades later. Small, but fast, Dave also played the position of alternate left half-back on the school's football team. He graduated from HHS with the class of 1940 and then graduated from Kents Hill School in 1942, where he also excelled in athletics.
Dave entered the Army where he served from 1942 to 1946 in both European (97th Infantry Division) and Pacific Theaters. Years later his post WWII tales became legendary to his children's friends who were held captive whenever they visited the Barson home.
After his discharge from the service, Dave attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. from where he graduated with a degree in Political Science. He met his future wife, Beverly Tooter, while each were attending a wedding with friends of the bride and groom. This relationship bloomed due in no small part to Dave's prowess on the dance floor.
Married in 1949, Dave brought his bride to Haverhill when he accepted his first job offer from Warren H. Lease. A born salesman, Dave eventually opened his own kitchen business, Andover Cabinet Co. Over the next seven decades, his kitchen business morphed, but Dave continued to work up until the day he became critically ill and was admitted to the hospital.
There were the years when Dave played golf, tennis and gin-rummy, but he was happiest when working. A true "people-person" who could chat-up anybody, he could work any room and be at home anywhere. He sold kitchens throughout New England and was quite the ranconteur.
Dave's proudest achievement was his close family. He had an uncritical eye, an enormous heart, and he was generous to a fault. His favorite catch-phrase to those in his family is: "Pals stick together, in fair or foul weather". Dave passed away peacefully on February 9 with loving family, and Bugs Bunny, for whom he had an enduring affinity, at his side.
Dave was predeceased by brother, Harry Barson and sister, Sara Shapiro, both of Haverhill, in addition to his parents. He leaves behind his loving, adored and patient wife of 63 years, his much loved and loving children, son, Michael Barson and wife, Jean Behrend of Glen Ridge, N.J.; daughter, Sherry Barson of San Rafael, Calif.; daughter, Shauna Tuohey and husband, Kevin Tuohey of Natick; grandchildren, Benjamin, Daniel and Adam Barson and Evan and Rebecca Tuohey. He will also be missed by his sister-in-law, Jean Tooter and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family wishes to express profound thanks to the staff at Merrimac Valley Hospice House for their compassionate care.
ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend his funeral service on Wednesday at 12 p.m. at the H.L. Farmer & Sons Funeral Home, 106 Summer St., Haverhill. Burial will be in Children of Israel Cemetery, Haverhill. If desired, the family requests that donations be made in Dave's memory to: Merrimac Valley Hospice House , 360 Merrimac Street, Building 9, Lawrence MA 01843, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. P.O. Box 7022 , Albert Lea, MN 56007-8022 www.ushmm.org, or the organization of your choice. Condolences to his family may be made at www.farmerfuneralhomes.com.