Robert Van Rensselaer Barnard, Sr.

August 9, 1935 ~ August 27, 2020 (age 85)


CAPE VINCENT- Robert (Bob) Van Rensselaer Barnard, Sr., 85, passed away peacefully on Thursday August 27th 2020. Arrangements have been entrusted to Cleveland Funeral Home Inc., Cape Vincent.


Bob was born on August 9th 1935 in Chicago. He grew up in Watertown and finished his senior year at Mount Hermon prep school in NorthField Massachusetts. He then went to the College at Wooster, Ohio before transferring to the University of Wisconsin in Madison Wisconsin, where he majored in psychology. He belonged to the Fraternity, Phi Sigma Alpha, and participated in basketball, boxing, baseball and football.


 While attending Wisconsin, he met Jane Martin who he married in October of 1956. They were married for almost 62 years.


After graduating from college Bob initially worked for his father-in-law Horace Martin in Dayton, Ohio, where their two sons Robert and John were born. Afterwards they moved to Buffalo, where he worked in the insurance industry and where their third child, Saundra, was born. After that they moved to Connecticut for many years working again in the insurance industry and also buying a farm to raise horses and chickens. Shortly after they began to breed and show Morgan horses. From there he took the horses and the kids to Stonybrook Long Island where he was a headmaster at Berean Christian Schools while Jane was in charge of the stables. In 1969, he moved the family and horses to Cape Vincent, where he bought the Arthur Parker Insurance Agency. The business grew into six locations before he retired in 2002 (Cape Vincent, Clayton, Hammond, Lacona, Mexico and Watertown). After retirement, he became the Town assessor for ten years.


Bob served in many of the local community boards and organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, French Festival committee, Lions Club, Citizens Bank of Cape Vincent, and served 40 years with the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority. He was also a layman Priest for the United Church of Cape Vincent and the church in Millens Bay. In 1977, he was honored with Citizen of the Year. In 1981 the French Festival was dedicated to him.

Bob obviously loved Cape Vincent and was very community minded but he always had time to relax with his family and horses. He raised many grand champion Morgans for showing and breeding internationally.


Bob was a big Red Socks fan. Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski were his favorites. He loved sports and followed them intently. He was also a big fan of Syracuse basketball.


Bob is survived by his children and their spouses: Robert and Leanne Barnard, Jr., John and Sharon Barnard, and Saundra and Sandip Badhe. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, along with 15 great grandchildren. He was very proud knowing that his name would live on through Robert VR Barnard IV.


He is predeceased by his wife Jane Martin Barnard, his mother and father John and Martha Barnard, Sr. and two brothers John Barnard, Jr. and Reed Barnard.


A graveside service will be held at 1pm on September 19th, 2020 at the Riverside Cemetery in Cape Vincent. In case of rain, the service will be at the United Church of Cape Vincent. A gathering will be held after the service at the Mortensen farm on Valley Rd.(County Route 6) just past the Deerlick Rd on the left. Flowers can be sent to Cleveland Funeral Home at 188 Broadway St Cape Vincent, NY 13618.


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Graveside Service
September 19, 2020

1:00 PM
Riverside Cemetery
Route 12e
Cape Vincent, NY 13618

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