Robert D. Barendsen, Education Dept. employee

December 14, 2012

Robert D. Barendsen, 89, who retired from the U.S. Department of Education as a specialist on countries in the Far East, died Nov. 13 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring after a stroke.

His wife, Joyce Barendsen, confirmed the death.

Dr. Barendsen was an Army intelligence officer during World War II and the Korean War. After a brief stint with the CIA, he joined what was then the federal Office of Education in the late 1950s. He retired in 1984.

He was the author of “The American Revolution” (1976), a study published by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare of how history texts in other countries treat the American Revolution in their schools. He was a past editor of the academic journal China Quarterly.

Robert Dale Barendsen was a native of Evanston, Ill., and a graduate of DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., which he attended on full scholarship. He received a doctorate in international relations and Chinese language from Yale University in 1957. He was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

He lived in Colesville, where he and his wife restored an 18th-century farmhouse.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Joyce Pullen Barendsen of Colesville; and a sister.

— Adam Bernstein