COLUMBIA — Every year between 1984 and 1994, the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Mexico invited James Barrett to participate as a lecturer in their program for North American students.
His son, Robert Barrett, remembers traveling with his father and recalled one of their trips to Guadalajara.
"That was a really wonderful experience, just driving through Mexico with dad," he said. "Going to those various places, he always studied the history, and he would always educate us about that."
Dr. James T. Barrett died Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, at his home in Columbia. He was 86.
He was born May 20, 1927, to Alfred Barrett and Mary Taylor in Centerville, Iowa. He graduated from Lamoni High School in 1944 and attended the University of Iowa before leaving after one year to join the Navy. He later returned to the University of Iowa, where he earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 1950, 1951 and 1953, respectively.
After working at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine from 1953 to 1957, Dr. Barrett joined the faculty of MU's School of Medicine as an assistant microbiology professor. After several promotions, he retired in 1994 as professor emeritus in the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Department.
Dr. Barrett was involved in research throughout his career. His first National Institute of Health research fellowship took him to Sweden from 1963 to 1964.
He returned to Sweden from 1970 to 1971 for additional research, and during that time, he accepted a National Academy of Sciences award to conduct research in Romania for six weeks.
Dr. Barrett also spent time in Uruguay on a Fulbright Fellowship and Spain on a Spanish fellowship. He also traveled to Taiwan, Nigeria and Thailand for work.
Dr. Barrett also authored the "Textbook of Immunology," one of the first medical texts to use case history vignettes. It was published in five editions, and each edition was translated into Spanish.
After retiring from MU, Dr. Barrett worked at St. George's University in Grenada for six years. He then taught at Trinity School of Medicine in St. Vincent, West Indies until 2013.
His brother, Wayne Barrett, died earlier.
Dr. Barrett is survived by his wife, Barbro; three daughters, Sara Madole, Annika Lunceford and Nina Davolt; a son, Robert Barrett; and eight grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W.
Memorial contributions can be made at EllisFischelGiving.org.
Online condolences may be left at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.
Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.