Gordon Wesley Barnes

Gordon will be remembered for his integrity, values, kindness, sense of humor and keen intellect.

Starbucks Coffee Company and Vashon Island Cafe Luna lost a loyal customer on April 8, 2020.

Former Tacoma, Washington and Vashon, Washington resident Gordon Wesley Barnes, 76, died with his daughter and son in law by his side in their home in Richland, Washington. Gordon was born on October 12, 1943, in Tacoma, WA, to Dan and Martha Barnes. There will be a Memorial Burial service held at the Veteran’s Tahoma National Cemetery at 10:45 a.m. on Friday, August 28, 2020, with a Celebration of Gordon’s Life following afterward on Vashon Island. (Details TBD due to COVID impact, Contact Michele for details).

Gordon could play an improvised piano masterpiece daily up until the day he passed. As a boy, young Gordon would play the family piano for his Mother, Grandparents, Brothers and Sisters and later on in life he would continue to play daily for himself and/or visiting friends and family. Even his Vashon Island neighbors enjoyed hearing him play on warm afternoons when the windows of his home were cracked open.

Gordon grew up in Tacoma and as a child spent many summer days playing on Magnolia Beach on Vashon Island, as did his parents and their parents as well. These fond memories led Gordon back to Vashon Island where he retired, lived and enjoyed the remainder of his life. After graduating from Wilson High School, Gordon married Ann Kneip and then served in the United States Army and was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany for two years. He continued his education at Tacoma Community College and graduated with honors with a degree in Political Science. He and Ann had one child together, Michele. He was employed as a Manager at Ingersoll Rand Equipment Company and retired from there 42 years later.

Gordon’s career offered him the opportunity to live in Portland, Oregon and Anchorage, Alaska where he worked hard and played hard, bowling, cross country skiing and of course… playing the piano. Gordon loved his family dearly and this showed through his keen interest in his family on all fronts which included the study of his ancestry lineage, family reunion planning for his 3 brothers and 2 sisters and their families, his detailed biopic writing project, sibling empty nester luncheons, letters and the emails written to his daughter, friends and siblings. Gordon loved baking as well as eating Starbuck’s Brownies and the like with strong coffee and Costco’s pull-apart rolls, Met Market’s ‘The Cookie’ and the infamous Frango’s. He loved trivia of any kind as he could use his sleuthing and curious mind, completing the daily crossword puzzles in pen, learning new words and literature in most any shape or form. He was indeed a wordsmith with a vast vocabulary. His favorite vacations were spent at Seaside, OR, Cannon Beach, OR, Yachats, OR, Hawaii, Bermuda, Nantucket and New Hampshire.

Later in life, he very much enjoyed spending time with his lady friend and love of his life, Lisa. He enjoyed going to the Tacoma Musical Play House with her and finding the perfect piece of pie to share with her. Gordon will be remembered for his incredible piano playing and music intellect, fantastic writing, ability to laugh, political discussions, astute vocabulary, stories and his love, loyalty and fondness of family. Gordon is survived by his dear love and lady friend Lisa Bangs, previous wife and friend Ann Koopman, daughter Michele Barnes Olsen and her husband Clark, brothers Don Barnes and wife Barb, Charles Barnes and wife Judy, Alan Barnes & wife Twyla and his sisters Gerri Clough and husband John and Linda Weiss; his second cousin Marian Brischle, his sister-in-law and friend Cheryl Rue, nieces Christine Tice, Sheila Rue, Cindy Barnes Spradlin, Kelly BarnesWarner, Rhonda Azari, Barbara Bedford, Mary Bedford, and Ann Katsikapes and her husband Hazli; nephews: Derek Barnes and wife Denise, Mike Clough, Randy Barnes (recently deceased), Rick Barnes and Tami Barnes, Kirk Barnes and his wife Heidi, Eric Barnes, Neil Rue and his wife Karen.

Gordon will be fondly remembered by many for his integrity, values, kindness, beautiful piano playing and music ability, eloquent writing, sense of humor and love of laughing and keen intellect. He will be forever loved and remembered by his daughter Michele, as the closest friend, life guide and most incredible Father in the world.




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