Donald L. Barstow, 85, formerly of Chestnut Hill, a sales executive and community activist who was instrumental in the conversion of the SEPTA trolley turnaround at Germantown Avenue and Cresheim Valley Drive into a luncheonette that hired local young people, died of heart failure Jan. 20 at Abington Hospital.
For the past 10 years he had been a resident of the Ann’s Choice retirement community in Warminster.
An active member of the Chestnut Hill Community Association, Mr. Barstow saw a potential use for the unused trolley facility and supervised its restoration and conversion in 1979 into a food establishment called The Trolley Barn.
Born in Germantown, he was a graduate of the William Penn Charter School. He attended Trinity College and graduated from Yale University. He served in the Navy’s V12 programs at both schools.
After graduation from Yale, he was named vice president of the Boardwalk Arcade Shops in Ocean City and Atlantic City, N.J. He later worked for Rockport Shoes, where he won several sales awards.
A self-taught architect, he designed a major addition to Bois Reynard, his home in Chestnut Hill that dated from the early 1900s.
He was a First Reader and an active member for 40 years of the Christian Science Church in Mt. Airy and provided counseling and spiritual guidance to inmates at Graterford Prison for many years.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; daughters Anne Hardy and Donna Barstow; sons Scott, Peter and Allen; brothers Bill, of Hilton Head, S.C., Bruce, of Savannah, Ga., and Allen, of Storrs, Conn.; four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by wives Eileen Green Barstow and Joan Beique Barstow.
A memorial service will be private. Memorial donations may be made to the Ann’s Choice Benevolent Fund, 30000 Ann’s Choice Way, Warminster, PA 18974. – WF