Henry R. Barracano

8 April 1926 - 14 February 2022

Under: Obituary
Henry R. Barracano

Henry R. (Hank) Barracano died February 14, 2022 in Spring, Texas.

He was born April 8, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York to Ralph and Josephine (Chianese) Barracano He graduated from Towsend Harris High School in Manhattan at age 16. In 1943, he enlisted in the Army and served in both the Infantry and the Signal Corps. It was while at one of several communications school to which he was assigned (The Central Signal Corps School) at Camp Crowder, Mo, that he met Miss Dorothy Sue Bartlow, a civilian Army employee.

Shortly after World War II ended, they were married and moved to State College, PA so that Hank could complete his studies at Penn State. It was during this time that Ralph (Butch) was born, in fact, on the day Hank started his senior year. In January, 1948, Hank graduated as a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.

The young family then moved to Tulsa, OK. Hank began his engineering career with the local utility company, then worked for a consulting firm. During this period, the family grew with the addition of two daughters, Susan and Linda.

In 1956, the family’s great adventure began. Hank accepted a position with The Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO). They moved to New York; then to Ras Tanura Saudi Arabia. The children attended Company schools through the ninth grade; and subsequently, high school at the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon. Hank’s career spanning 27 years (1956-1983) took him from Ras Tanura to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, to London. back to Dhahran, then to Beirut and finally back to Dhahran where he ended up as Assistant to the Senior Vice President of Engineering and Construction. Over the years, he had many interesting assignments. He was ARAMCO’s first Project Manager. For a few years he was seconded to assist in the start-up of the Saudi Consolidated Electric Company in the Eastern Province(SCECO).

Sue and Hank enjoyed traveling, and had numerous opportunities to do so during their long tenure in the Middle East. They were able to journey all over Europe and take trips to Asia and Africa as well as Australia. Upon retirement, they continued to travel, culminating, in 1992, when they set foot on their seventh continent, Antarctica. They went to Rome to ring in the new year in 2000.

Hank was a Registered Professional Engineer in Oklahoma and a Life Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He stayed active in the IEEE and was an officer of the local chapter in Tulsa of the predecessor organization, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE). He remained active in the Penn State Alumni Association, and in1992 helped found the Penn State Society of Electrical Engineers (PSSEE). He was the Vice- Chair of the organization for a number of years. In 1993, he was honored to receive the designation of Outstanding Engineering Alumnus, and in 1997 the PSAA honored him by bestowing the title of Alumni Fellow, the highest award of that organization. In 1998, he became a Penn State Pioneer. He is noted in a number of Marquis Who’s Who, including Who’s Who in America; in the World: in the South and Southwest; in Science and Engineering: in Finance and Industry.

He was predeceased by his wife Dorothy (Sue) and his son Ralph (Butch). He also recently lost his brother, Albert (wife Gail) in April, 2020 of Brooklyn, NY. He is survived by his brother, Ralph of Bensalem, PA. two sisters: Dolores Schmidt of New York, NY and Terry Polistena (husband Robert) of Brooklyn, NY. He is also survived by his two daughters: Susan Ratterree ( her late husband Michael Miles) of New Orleans, LA, and Linda Swartz (husband Russ) of Sarasota, FL. One granddaughter, Sky Headland (husband Matt) of Erie, CO: two grandsons: Leclare B. Ratterree IV (Dori Hernandez) of New Orleans, LA, and Tyler Swartz of Sydney, Australia and two great grandsons: Levi Headland of Erie, CO and Leclare B. Ratterree V of New Orleans, LA. He is also survived by numerous cousins.

A visitation will be held at Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home, 12800 Westheimer Rd, Houston, Tx 77077, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on February 23, 2022. A funeral service will take place at Northwoods Presbyterian Church, 3320 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX 77068 starting at 2:00 pm on February 24, 2022.

A special appreciation goes out to the Altus Hospice, At Your Side Agency, Encore Agency, for all of the special care they gave to Hank. In lieu of floral remembrances, Hank preferred that donations in his name be made to Star of Hope, Covenant House and the Houston Food Bank.

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