GIRARD, Ohio – Albert Charles “Al” Barninger, 65, of Girard, Ohio, died suddenly October 10, 2016 of sudden cardiac arrest.
Al’s life began February 20, 1951 in Youngstown, Ohio – little did he know, his soul mate, Carmel Mallon, was swaddled in pink linens resting only a few incubators away in the same newborn nursery.
He was raised in McDonald, Ohio, and while in high school, he met Carmel again and the two fell madly in love.
In 1968, Al dedicated his life to serving his country and joined the United States Army.
Soon after his enlistment, Al and Carmel were married September 11, 1969.
He deployed to Southeast Asia and later returned to the U.S. as a decorated Vietnam veteran, working in positions of increasing responsibility until his honorable discharge from active duty in 1973.
Following his discharge, he transitioned to the National Guard while building a 30-year career at Packard Electric/Delphi.
Yet, for Al, his career was merely a backdrop to his true calling – love, kindness and service to others. For those lucky enough to cross paths with Al, they’ll remember his kindness, his thoughtfulness and his wickedly warm sense of humor. He donated his time to help organize and deliver food and gifts to people less fortunate at Thanksgiving and Christmas as a volunteer for the Emmanuel Community Care Center.
He was an active member of St. Rose Church where he was a Eucharistic minister and volunteer with the CCD program in the 1980s and 1990s.
In 1991, military service once again called on Al and he joined the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 5-1, where he served as secretary.
While service to others was the bedrock of his life, his true passion was Carmel. Inseparable, their devotion to one another, life-long friendship and true love defined the best aspirations of a marriage.
Al was the father of two daughters, Christine (Frank) Caton and Brenda (Jeff) Cosola; the proud grandfather of BJ, Katelyn, Zachariah, Nicole and Gianna and great-grandfather of Lyric, Kye and Liam, all of whom will miss Al for his humor, his unending love and life lessons taught well.
Besides his loving wife, children and grandchildren, he is survived by his mother, Mary Rock; brother, David (Frances) Rock; sister, Marilyn (William) Rushen; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and his beloved afghan hound Bandit.
Al was preceded in death by his grandparents who raised him, Red and Mary Barninger, son-in-law Bill Haines, nephew David Bruce Rock II and beloved family pets.
Al’s love was limitless and extended beyond people. He loved animals, especially afghan hounds and he drove thousands of miles as a rescue volunteer for the Afghan Hound Rescue Central Ohio (AHRCO), transporting orphaned and abused dogs to the safety of fellow rescuers in several states.
Even in death, Al’s selfless love continued through organ and tissue donation. Because of his donation, two people will receive the gift of sight and numerous others will benefit as well.
In accordance with Al’s wishes, in lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the rescue organization: AHRCO, 724 Hunters Run, Gahanna, Ohio 43230.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, October 13, at 12:00 Noon at St. Rose Church in Girard, where the family will receive relatives and friends from 10:00 a.m. to the time of service.
Albert will be laid to rest at Pineview Cemetery.
Visit www.blackstonefuneralhome.com to view this obituary and to send any condolences to the Barninger family.
A television tribute will air Wednesday, October 12 at the following approximate times:
12:25 p.m. WKBN, 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV and 10:37 p.m. FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.