In Memory: Lewis Barkley

Dear Laurentian Community,

I write to share the sad news that Lewis Barkley has died. He was 76. For more than 30 years, Lew worked in St. Lawrence’s Facilities Operations division as an athletics equipment attendant.

He is remembered now—on campus and by Laurentians around the world—for his humor, his open heart, his committed attention to the needs of student-athletes, and his seemingly effortless ability to bring people together.

Lew was born in his family’s North Country home and attended school in Waddington. There, he served as class president, played football and basketball, and graduated in 1965. He married Jacqueline Besaw in 1973.

When he wasn’t at work helping students and sharing stories with colleagues, he could be found hunting, fishing, trapping and enjoying the company of friends and family. He was an avid outdoorsman who would occasionally appear on the PBS series “Rod & Reel Streamside” with Don Meissner.

Lew was known for the antique store and bait-and-tackle shop he owned and operated in Waddington and his vast collection of McDonald’s toys. Lew also served on the St. Lawrence Fish advisory board.

He is survived by many beloved family members, including Jackie, his devoted wife of 49 years, their daughter Tina and her husband Troy Holloway, who is also an athletics equipment attendant at St. Lawrence, as well as Lew’s granddaughter Angellee and his great-granddaughter Annalee.

In lieu of flowers, Lew and his family have asked that memorial contributions be made to a Ronald McDonald House of the donor’s choice.

Though we mourn the loss of our friend and colleague, we are grateful to Lew for his service to St. Lawrence and our community. In the words of those who worked closely with him, it was a pleasure to know Lew and it is our honor to remember him.

Please join us in celebrating Lew’s life by sharing your memories of him on the St. Lawrence University website. You can read the remembrances of others here.


Kate Morris