In memoriam: Joseph H. Barlow Sr., alumnus and former member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors
Joseph H. Barlow Sr., a Virginia Tech alumnus who later served as a member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors from 1992-95, died April 27. He was 93.
Barlow, who grew up in Smithfield, Virginia, on Oak Crest Farm, received his bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering in 1950.
After graduation, he was a territory manager for John Deere, serving the Eastern Shore from Virginia to Delaware and later served in the Air Force, assigned to the Office of Special Investigations in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1959, he purchased Cotton Plains Farm near Chuckatuck, Virginia, where he raised peanuts, corn, soybeans, cattle, and hogs.
In addition to his successful career as a farmer, Barlow offered his time for community service and was often chosen for leadership roles. He served as president of the Virginia Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services, chairman of the Suffolk School Board, First Citizen of Suffolk, Governor of the Jamestowne Society, and Suffolk City Council. He was a lifelong member of Smithfield Baptist Church and regularly attended Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church.
Deeply dedicated to Virginia Tech, along with his wife, Lynn, Barlow was a member of the Legacy Society of those who include the university in their estate plans or make deferred gifts. He also was a member of the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center Leadership Council and Hokies for Higher Education and had served as class chair for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, on the Virginia Tech Alumni Association board of directors, and on the Cornerstone Alumni Advisory Board, as well as many other volunteer positions at the university.
Barlow was predeceased by his parents, Gladys Holleman Barlow and Gordon Eugene Barlow; his brothers Gene and Billy K.; and his first wife, the mother of his children, Margaret.
He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Lynn Barlow; his sisters, Hannah Bain of Wakefield and Sarah Wright of Smithfield; sister-in-law Taylor Barlow; his children Nancy Alwood (David) of Midlothian, Virginia, Jo Anne Mathus (Bill) of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, Joseph H. Barlow Jr. (and Shelley Barlow who is a current member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors) of Cotton Plains Farm, Suffolk, Virginia; and his five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.