Eugene Francis Bartell (“Butch” to his childhood friends) passed away peacefully with his family at his side on December 9, 2022 following a tragic accident.
Gene was born in Reading, Pennsylvania to Eugene Joseph Bartell and Helen Catherine (Moyer) Bartell, and was raised in Succasunna, New Jersey. He went on to graduate from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a B.A. in History. He met his wife Carolyn (Mullen) Bartell at college, where she excelled in academics, and he excelled in wooing her.
Upon his graduation in 1962, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy and was originally assigned to Pensacola Naval Air Station for flight training. He finished his active service at the Office of Naval Research in Chicago, Illinois. After his active service, he transferred to the U.S. Navy Reserve. During his time in the Reserve, he served as Officer in Charge of the U.S. Navy Reserve Center in Ithaca, N.Y. He retired as a Lieutenant Commander.
He had a long and distinguished career at Cornell University from 1965 until 2001, retiring as Administrative Director of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC), which operated the world-renowned Arecibo Radio Telescope Observatory. He was at NAIC for many remarkable scientific milestones, including the Viking and Voyager space probe missions and radio signals transmitted to space from the Arecibo Observatory as part of the SETI project. While at Cornell, he was active on employee baseball and bowling teams for many years.
He loved his family immensely. He and Carolyn raised two children, Thomas and Christine in Ithaca. They were active members of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. They shared incredible times together at their family camp in the Adirondacks and during trips across the United States, Canada and Europe. He was a humble provider for his family in every sense of the word. He was a wonderful cook, and his tasty recipes will be a cherished legacy. He could always be relied upon to build or fix anything. He loved to spend weekends tinkering in his garage and was a lifelong avid reader and follower of history and current affairs. He was a patient and thorough genealogical researcher, tracing the family roots back many generations, a gift to his surviving family that will endure. He was a volunteer at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church for over 50 years, serving as a Trustee and Chair of four Board committees.
He adored his grandchildren Whitney and Eva and relished seeing them grow up to become accomplished young women. He is survived by his beloved wife and constant companion, Carolyn, to whom he was married for 60 wonderful years, his loyal Golden Retriever, Oliver, his son Thomas Eugene Bartell and his daughter-in-law Cathy Bartell of Ithaca, his granddaughters, Whitney Bartell and Eva Bartell and Whitney’s husband, David Coffield, his brother-in-law in Missouri Dr. Edward Mullen, Jr. and his wife, Dr. Helen Mullen, his sister-in-law in California Nancy Boston and nieces, Alison Boston, Kathy Chirco and Julie Dubois as well as many Moyer and Bartell relatives from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He cherished his very close friends including “The Group” a devoted circle of friends who meet every month to share their lives together outside of their fellowship at St. Paul’s.
He was predeceased by his daughter Christine and will be laid to rest next to her and his parents at Pleasant Grove Cemetery. His family wants all to know that he was a generous man known for his remarkable kindness, integrity and humility and for leading a life characterized best by his quiet inner strength and outward happiness.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 11:00am at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 402 N. Aurora St., Ithaca, NY 14850.
Donations in Eugene’s name can be made to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 402 N Aurora St., Ithaca, NY 14850 or to the SPCA of Tompkins County, 1640 Hanshaw Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Bangs Funeral Home, Ithaca, NY. Online condolences may be made to Eugene’s family at www.bangsfuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Eugene Francis Bartell, please visit our floral store.