David Martin Barnett dead at 75

November 17, 2022
David Martin Barnett
David Martin Barnett

David Martin Barnett, 75, of Richmond, Virginia, died November 8, 2022. Born on December 6, 1946, he led a varied career in advertising, broadcasting, computers, welfare agencies, and administration of churches and non-profit organizations, including positions as building administrator of Second Presbyterian Church, Richmond, 2009–2014; and as facilities manager of St. James’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, 2010–2013.

Barnett served as treasurer of the Organ Historical Society from 1983 until 2010 and managed the OHS catalog between 2007 and 2010. He was vice president and operations manager of Duboy Advertising, 1974–1999, a Richmond firm specializing in advertising via broadcast media for automobile dealers nationwide. There, he wrote and produced more than 10,000 radio and television commercials for hundreds of clients. As well, Barnett operated DMB & Co., 1988–2011, designing and building computers and networks for small businesses and homes.

From 1965 until 1986, Barnett was weekend news anchor at radio station WLEE in Richmond and from 1965 until 1970 was announcer, studio engineer, traffic manager, and sales manager at radio station WFMV, Richmond’s classical music FM voice and the first stereophonic broadcast station in Virginia. In 1964 and 1965, he worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch as a newsroom copy boy.

As an audio components salesman, Barnett was employed between 1969 and 1975 by Audio Fidelity Corp., a central Virginia audio salon. Between 1970 and 1974, he worked for the City of Richmond as a welfare eligibility technician, supervisor, and child welfare eligibility supervisor, and in a similar role in 1972 for the state. He attended the University of Richmond following graduation from George Wythe High School in 1964 and Bainbridge Junior High School.

Barnett served as an officer or member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Theatre Historical Society of America, American Theatre Organ Society (several chapters), Organ Historical Society, Cinema Organ Society (UK), Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He volunteered extensively for the Mosque Theater (now the Landmark Theatre) and the Byrd Theatre, where he served as announcer beginning in 1982.

With friends, Barnett installed in his Richmond home a nine-rank Wurlitzer organ. Following closure of Monumental Episcopal Church, Richmond, he helped to renovate the 1926 Skinner Organ Company Opus 574 before it was relocated in 1975 to St. Bridget’s Catholic Church, Richmond, and subsequently was incorporated into the organ completed in 2014 by Kegg Pipe Organ Builders at the Cathedral of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.


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