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Barnett “Barney” Sugarman, 95, local volunteer and longtime resident of Las Cruces, passed away peacefully on Sept. 5, 2020, in Albuquerque, NM. Barnett was born to David and Rachel Sugarman on March 8, 1925, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Barney and his wife, Ruth Ann, retired and lived in Las Cruces for 25 years. They met on a blind date, which led to 72 years of marriage. They had two daughters, two granddaughters and one great granddaughter. Globetrotting with Ruth Ann for work or to fuel their wanderlust was a favorite pastime. He adored his patio view of the Organ Mountains, Rio Grande and Las Cruces city lights.
A proud veteran of WWII, he served in the Navy's 37th Seabee “Can Do” Battalion stationed in the Pacific Theater. Barney graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and Claremont McKenna College with a master’s degree in business economics. He spent his career in the nuclear and aerospace industries. Barney’s contributions included the Saturn rocket, Nuclear Core Barrel Project and Antarctica’s Portable Nuclear Reactor Project. He was a member of the Peninsula Lodge No. 99 Mason Fraternity in Bayonne, New Jersey.
He loved Jewish and secular community participation, bird watching, Louis L'Amour western novels, good food, photography and classical and big-band era music. He played the grandfather in a Las Cruces production of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," and he never missed the Wednesday Men's Club morning breakfast.
He touched the lives of many people with his smile and generosity and always maintained his trademark sense of humor. May his memory be for a blessing.
Due to the health emergency, burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Barnett Sugarman’s memory to Temple Beth-El, 3980 Sonoma Springs Avenue, Las Cruces, NM 88011 (tbelc.org).