Jack Dudley Barnston

Jack Dudley Barnston, 89, passed away on the morning of April 28th, 2010. Mr. Barnston was born on April 23rd, 1921, in Houston, Texas, son of the late Rabbi Henry and  Ruth Barnston. At the age of 16, Jack enrolled in the University of Texas, eventually furthering his education at that institution’s law school.

After serving in World War II as a First Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps, Jack worked as an executive for the Majestic Laundry Co. until 1961, when he passed the CT Bar exam and became a practicing attorney. A member of both the CT and Texas Bars, he was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the U.S. and practiced in New Haven while serving as a part-time housing code prosecutor for the city until the age of 80. A concerned and active member of his community, Jack served as the chairman of the Social Action committee of Congregation Mishkan Israel and President of its Board of Directors, also on the Boards of Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Service, the Jewish Community Center, Urban League and Fellowship Club. He also found time to volunteer as a Tutor for students at Literacy Volunteers of New Haven. He was awarded a Kovod Key from the JCC in honor of his service. Jack was passionate about physical exercise and did some form of it every day until his latest illness. He was an avid tennis and racquet-ball player and loved to play the piano, which he played by ear.

Devoted brother of Vivienne Wright and the late Alfred Barnston. Loving father of Anthony, Patricia, Charles and Henry Barnston. Stepfather of James, Julie, Katie and Tom. Grandfather of Tom, Tal, Ron, Nikki, Max and Jackson. Most of all, wonderful husband of 31 years to Betsy Hahn Barnston. Jack fought courageously to overcome his illness and never lost his wonderful sense of humor and gentle caring manner. His fight was made easier because of the care of his step-son, Tom, and in the last year the amazing loving care of his companion, Edwin Akyea. The family is also grateful in the amazing help of Hospice Homecare.

Funeral service will be held at Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Rd., Hamden, Sunday afternoon at 1. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Connecticut Hospice Inc., 100 Double Beach Rd., Branford, CT. 06405 or Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Rd., Hamden, CT. 06518. The Weller Funeral Home, 493 Whitney Ave., New Haven is in charge of arrangements.

Print This Obituary Print This Obituary


  1. Marjorie & Stanley Jacobs said,

    04.29.10 at 10:52 am

    We are so saddened that Jack is no longer with us. He was always a great joy to be with, and even at our last dinner with him and Betsy in February, we shared good food and stimulating conversation. Our tennis games together will always bring back good memories of his wonderful sense of humor and enjoyment. Our sharing of books gave us insight into his analytical mind.

  2. Nancy and Myles Alderman said,

    04.29.10 at 11:53 am

    We are so very sorry to learn of Jack’s death and we send our warmest thoughts to Betsy and the children at this very sad time.
    Love, Nancy and Myles Alderman

  3. Amy Terzakis said,

    04.30.10 at 8:36 am


    I am so sorry to hear about Jack’s passing. You and your family are in my prayers.

    Love, Amy Terzakis

  4. Diane Verlezza said,

    04.30.10 at 8:55 am

    Betsy: Antoinette and I would like to express our sincere sympathy to you and your entire family at the loss of Jack. He was always so gracious and fun loving every time we were around him. Please know that we are thinking of you and wishing you well.

  5. Lester and Meryl Drabkin said,

    04.30.10 at 9:04 am

    Dear Betsy,
    Our regrets to you and your family on Jacks passing. We treasured him as a friend for most of our lives.

  6. Bill Rodgers said,

    05.01.10 at 5:04 pm

    I knew Jack from our associaton with American Linen. He was a true gentleman and a consumate professional. We shared a love of tennis. He always made me look good, but wouldn’t let me win. The world is a less happy place without him

  7. Jo and Charlie Villecco said,

    05.02.10 at 9:13 am

    Betsy: We were saddened to learn of Jack’s passing, please accept our deepest sympathy and know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  8. Risa Nitkin and Mary Fox said,

    05.02.10 at 11:56 am

    Although we did not get to know Jack, we did see him often taking a ride in his wheel chair in the later stages of his illness. We wish him and his family peace.

  9. Gerri Mongillo said,

    05.03.10 at 8:42 pm

    Dear Betsy and family
    I am deeply sadden about the news that Jack had passed. The little time that I had with knowing Jack I will never forget his sence of humour no matter how he felt that day. He apprieated life to the fullestmost of all Betsy you and his family was his world. He will always be in my prayers.

  10. Millard H Mack said,

    05.21.10 at 8:36 am

    Betsy – You have my deepest sympathy. Jack as well as Al were very special to the Mack brothers at Camp Strongheart in Minocqua, Wisconsin over 70 years ago. I will always remember them.