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Obituary (MA): George Aloysius Barunas Jr. '51

Posted on 03/23/2018

Capt. George A. Barunas Jr. USN Retired 87, of Cohasset, MA, died January 9, 2018. He was the beloved husband of Suzanne Cook Barunas, and a 40 year resident of Cohasset.

George Barunas was born on March 8, 1930 in Philadelphia, PA to George A. and Anna Barunas. He graduated from Malvern Academy in PA in 1947, and the United States Naval Academy in 1951. George and Sue were married in 1955. They have three children: Ann Barunas Silvia (Jack Silvia) of Cohasset, MA; George Denison Barunas of Uncasville, CT; and William Blythe Barunas (Amy Thomas) of Bethesda, MD.They have six grandchildren and four great grandchildren: Katharine Lesire (Bryan Lesire) of Salem, CT and their son Mason; Mary Silvia (Jake Kusins) of Duxbury, MA and their children Emma, Morgan, and Christian; Jennifer Silvia of Bethesda, MD; Joseph Silvia of Cohasset, MA; Michelle Bookstaver of Bethesda, MD, and Lauren Bookstaver of Seattle, WA. He also leaves his sister Carole Anne and her husband Carl Albero of Virginia Beach, VA; sister-in-law Nancy Murray of Waterford; CT; and an aunt, Jane Manley, of New London, CT.

Early in his career, Barunas spent two years on a destroyer. In 1953 he went to Submarine School, and joined the crew of the USS Tusk from 1954-1956. In 1957 he attended Nuclear Power School. He was then assigned to the commissioning crew of the USS Skate from 1958-1960, the third nuclear powered submarine. He was on board in 1959 when the Skate became the first submarine to break through the ice and surface at the North Pole.He served in various engineering positions on the USS Patrick Henry before attending Missile School in 1964. Barunas was on the staff that established a Polaris Missile Base in Spain. He was then assigned in 1964 and 1965 to the USS Sam Houston, and the USS Francis Scott Key.From 1966-1970 Capt. Barunas returned to the USS Patrick Henry as the Commanding Officer. He successfully completed a total of 14 patrols out of Scotland, 8 of which he served as Commanding Officer. His final assignment was as the Commanding Officer of the Orion, a submarine tender based in Charleston, SC, from 1972-1974.

Capt. Barunas retired from the Navy in 1974 and joined United Engineers in Philadelphia as Project Engineering Manager for the engineering, design and construction of two nuclear power plants. He attended Drexel University and obtained his Professional Engineering License in two states. In 1978 he went to Stone & Webster in Boston as a Project Manager, and graduated from the Management Program at Northeastern University. His career at Stone & Webster included work assessing, converting, and construction on all types of power plants including nuclear, coal, and fossil fuels. His most notable endeavor at Stone & Webster was as the Integrating Subcontractor for building the plants to destroy US Chemical Weapons as part of an agreement between the United States and Russia. He retired in 1994 as Vice President and Manager of Projects.

George belonged to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Naval Academy Alumni, Naval Submarine League, Old Goats of Cohasset, and the Cohasset Golf Club, among others. He was an avid golfer, liked to cook, and volunteered driving the Elder Van and helping residents at the Senior Center with their tax returns.

Funeral Services will be held on April 9, 2018 at 1 pm in St. Anthony's Church in Cohasset. There will be a visiting hour immediately preceding the Mass across the street from the church at the McNamara Sparrell Funeral Home. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. For an online guestbook and more, please visit

McNamara-Sparrell Funeral Homes
(781) 383-0200

Published in The Boston Globe on Mar. 25, 2018