Published in San Diego
Union-Tribune from November 8 to November 9, 2009
Barnes died on November 1, 2009, just one week shy of his 82nd birthday.
A lifelong, and proud resident of San Diego, Barnes was well know to many
because of his early athletic accomplishments.
After outstanding high school experiences in both baseball and basketball,
he would later be selected by his alma mater as Herbert Hoover Hall of
Fame Athlete of the Decade. Following a stint in the U.S. Army and his
1951 graduation from San Diego State University,
Barnes was signed by the Boston Redsocks. It was during his tenure in
the minor leagues that he was also a NBA fifth round draft pick for the
New York Knicks.
What followed was a long and successful career as a general contractor.
Given his unparalleled work ethic and his natural design abilities, San
Diego is peppered with many fine structures that reflect his talents.
He never stopped building - whether it was split level bird house for
his patio or a grape arbor for his side yard, Barnes managed to exercise
his creativity well into his later years. It was also a source of great
pleasure to him that he shared his love of wood with his son-in-law, Barry
Never one who had any difficulty expressing his opinions - to know him
was to know where you stood - many a local issue would prompt him to sit
down at his "old electric" to compose a letter for either the
editorial or sports page of this newspaper. Whether you agreed with him
or not, his letters were beautifully crafted, thought provoking, and often
laugh out loud funny! The man had a wit that could not be matched!
Barnes had a full retirement. In the early years, he visited his children
in Utah and northern California. One year, to the delight of his grandchildren,
he played Santa Claus! (Thanks to the creativity of his daughter-in-law,
Karin Barnes, he was resplendent in a suit she made to fit his 6'5"
Barnes was also happiest on many different fishing trips with his lifelong
buddies. Always a golfer, Barnes finished out his days "chasing the
ball around" at dawn at San Diego Muni. And nothing seemed to give
him greater satisfaction that the monthly meetings of the infamous "Peking
Duck Lunch and Billiard Club." (a.k.a. PDLBC) Shooting pool with
his friends was a source of great happiness for him.
A special thank you to Mona Barnes for the loving attention she gave our
Dad during his final days. And to his many friends of many years, thanks
for all of the good times you shared with him.
Barnes is survived by his sister, Lola Markowitz; son, Rick Barnes and
wife Karin; daughter, Tracey Barnes Priestley and husband Barry; son Dan
Barnes and wife Mona; grandchildren: Richard and Cheyenne Luck, and Cristin
Shea; Taylor, Davis, and Evan Priestley; and Trevor Barnes; niece and
nephew, Marty and Michael McCafferty.
As per his wishes, no services are planned.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to SDSU Athletic Association
or Hoover High School Athletic Department.