Deceased August 22, 2009

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In Memory

By Barnes died on Aug. 22, 2009, at the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine, from complications from kidney failure. He was 81 years old.

A member of the HBS faculty for more than 40 years, at the time of his death he was the school’s John D. Black Professor Emeritus. By was born in St. Paul, Minn., on Aug. 6, 1928. Before coming to Amherst, he was graduated from Phillips Andover Academy. He was a member of Phi Alpha Psi. After Amherst, he earned an M.B.A. in 1952 and a D.B.A. in 1958, both from Harvard. From 1952 to 1955, he taught at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. From 1975 to 1978, he was president of the Iran Center for Management Study. The bulk of his teaching career and expertise was in the disciplines of organizational behavior and entrepreneurial management.

With respect to his personal life, By wrote for our 50th Reunion book: “I flunked marriage and have two ex-wives . . .” His unions produced four children: one daughter who has died and another who is a professor and writer, and two sons, one a physician and the other an entrepreneur—Thomas ’81. Through these offspring, By has five grandchildren.

We remember By as a very bright and affable classmate and we, along with many others that he touched in his life, will miss him.

Willie McCormick ’50



"Working with By was a joy because he loved teaching. He was a master who inspired students alike because they knew he cared and listened."

"He had an incredible way of asking you a question and really listening to the answer with great interest, as if you were the only one around in the room."

Very saddened to read of the deaths of Shad Hartwell and By Barnes. Both were close friends and fraternity brothers, joining a growing list  that includes Rick Williams, Chuck Turnburke, George Calvert, et al. By and I had a particularly close relationship which perhaps deserves a bit of memoir. By came to Phillips Academy, Andover in his junior year, called there an Upper Middler.  He and I were the top tenors in the glee club and Johnson chapel choir. We were Sunday morning soloists in the Chapel choir and 2 of the three Lords in Iolanthe. Although most of our classmates went to Yale, Harvard, Princeton, we were part of the Amherst group including George Meeks and  Edge Quaintance. By, George,  and I roomed together in North College for 2 years and the three of us were brought into Phi Psi by By's older brother, Rolly. Again we were active in the Glee club as well as the Phi Psi octet. By was a self- trained piano player and he and I twice entertained gals at Mt. Holyoke in their campus Inn. As you know By became a campus leader: President of the Class, Captain of the football team, honor societies while I continued to labor in the dining hall. After college By went to the Harvard Business School and I to U. of Chicago. After Army service and working in social work, I contacted By, who was at HBS, to gain his assistance in obtaining a personnel position in business. He referred me to a Sylvania Electric division in Waban, Mass. who referred me to Sylvania International operations in NYC. There commenced my business career which led to 32 years with The Stanley Works  as VP in Connecticut. Graciously, By came to Conn. to lead a seminar for a business group that I belonged to. He was the hit of our year. I visited By 2 or 3 times for lunch at the Harvard Business School once taking an executive course and other times referring or discussing some of our managers. By was always kind and helpful to our Stanley managers. who were taking courses there. Disappointed that he did not attend our 50th reunion at Andover, again we met at his home and I urged him to attend 50th at Amherst. He reluctantly agreed because of some problem I believe that his daughter or son  had at Amherst. He did not come. My last contact with By was about 10 years ago by phone. He was still in Newton, Mass. consulting, but his eyesight had deteriorated to a very serious level, and he was again divorced.  About 2 years ago I wrote to him in Maine and received no reply, due I assume to his poor health. Obviously, By was not my every day friend, and he did not make much effort to keep in touch, but all of my contacts with him over the years were positive, fun, stimulating, and generous. He was plain and simple one of the nicest people whom I have ever known.

—Paul Marier