Klaus Baernthaler, 74, of Boulevard, Middletown, died Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, surrounded by his loving family, after a long and valiant battle with cancer. He was the husband of Dorothea (DiNapoli) Baernthaler.
Born in Stuttgart, Germany on December 24, 1938, Klaus was the son of the late Fritz Bärnthaler and Gertrude Lotte (Wiedemann) Bärnthaler.
In 1958, he immigrated to the United States, and started as a tool-and-die maker in Philadelphia, PA. In 1964, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States – a truly proud moment in his life.
Klaus joined the U.S. Navy in 1960 and traveled the world while serving aboard the aircraft carriers USS Lexington and USS Saratoga, the submarine USS Argonaut, and the submarine tenders USS Canopus and USS Fulton. For much of his career he was a division officer in charge of up to 120 men and women charged with the repair and maintenance of submarines. He retired from the Navy with the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Four in 1986.
He attended the University of Connecticut where he earned a Bachelor of General Studies Degree, and the University of Rhode Island where he earned a Master of Library and Information Studies degree and became a member of Beta Phi Mu, the International Library Science Honor Society.
He worked in the libraries at the University of Connecticut and the University of Rhode Island. He retired as Reference Librarian from Salve Regina University in 1997. Following his retirement he volunteered at the Monastery Library at Portsmouth Abbey and the Archives Department at the Newport Naval War College. He was a volunteer counselor at the Retired Affairs Offices at the Newport Naval Base and in New London, CT.
Klaus was a member of the Southeastern New England Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, holding various positions on their Board. He was a member of both the Friends of Middletown Library and the Friends of Tiverton Libraries, lending his organizational skills to their book sales.
Klaus loved classical music—especially Beethoven and Mozart, reading, travel, gardening, ancient history and archaeology, but above all he loved his life, his work and his friends and family.
He is survived by his brother-in-law and sister-in-law John and Maureen DiNapoli of Fishers, IN, his niece Meghan DiNapoli of Woburn, MA, his nephew John DiNapoli of Worchester, MA, cousins Anne, Marc, Adrienne and Beryl Emmerich of Winchester, MA, and loving friends Bernie and Petey Sulman and their children whom he considered his family. He was the brother of the late Hanna (Bärnthaler) Kaiser.
The funeral will be at 12 noon, Sunday, October 27 at the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St., Newport. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite library