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BARLETTA, John R. 73 of Santa Barbara, CA, formerly of Somerville, MA, died July 3 after a short illness. He was the son of the late Walter C. Barletta and Victoria (Switlekowski) Barletta. He is survived by his sister Barbara and brother-in-law Gerald Kenny, who were at his side at his passing; his brother Robert and sister-in-law Nancy; sister-in-law Mary (wife of his deceased brother Edward); and brother Walter (Chuck); many nieces, nephews,grand nieces and nephews; his constant companion Fenway, his Labrador Retriever, and many devoted friends. John was a graduate of St. Clements High School, Somerville and the University of Arizona. He served a life of distinguished service to his country, first as a member of the United States Army and then the United States Secret Service. He served three Presidents, with a majority of the time with President Reagan. John traveled around the world with the President and Mrs. Reagan ensuring their protections and safety. John had a special relationship with President Reagan defined by their love of horses and the outdoors. Whenever President Reagan was on a horse, John was right beside the President and over time they became close friends. He protected President Reagan for 17 years. John authored a book "Riding with Reagan", an account of Ronald Reagan's days at Rancho del Cielo and John's personal relationship with the President. After his retirement from the Secret Service in 1997, John served as a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs of America, which trains Seeing Eye dogs for blind and visually impaired adults. He served on the Board of Governors of the Reagan Ranch, and was a key partner to the Young America's Foundation to preserve the President's ranch, Rancho del Cielo. Throught the years, John also served as a board member of the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society, Santa Barbara Navy League, Santa Barbara Alzheimer's Association, Santa Barbara Trail Riders, Past President of Rancheros Pobres, member of Rancheros Visitadors, and a life member of the DAV. Memorial Services will be held in Santa Barbara and John's ashes will be spread at The Reagan ranch. Donations in John's memory may be made to: Young America's Foundation, The Reagan Ranch, 217 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 www.yaf.org or Guide Dogs of America, 13445 Glenoaks Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342 www.guidedogsofamerica.org.

View the online memorial for John R. BARLETTA
Published in The Boston Globe on Aug. 12, 2018
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