Barbara Ann Barnes was born in Laramie on December 10, 1951, the daughter of Oscar and Virginia Barnes. At an early age she moved with the family to the University of Wyoming extension farm near Sheridan. The family returned to Laramie and settled in at 1314 Kearney.
Barbara attended Beitel, Whiting and Washington grade schools, junior high in what is now the Laramie Plains Civic Center and high school at the recently demolished building. She graduated as a member of the class of 1970, but left school early to accompany her mother and father to Somalia where Oscar was Head of Party of a University of Wyoming agriculture mission.
After returning Barb attended college in Sheridan where she made many lifelong friends. But in 1972 she decided to strike out on a different path and moved to Portland, Oregon. She said, “I had a huge community of friends. We all lived on a shoestring, grew gardens and shared all we had. I worked at my favorite job as a PBX operator, answering 200 lines.”
After a dozen years she moved back to Laramie and worked in the mortgage banking business before changing careers to conference coordinator for U.W. In December 1994 she reconnected with grade school classmate Kim Viner. Not wanting to rush into anything, they were engaged on Valentine’s Day 2000 and married July 2001.
Barb loved to travel, garden and spend time with her many Laramie friends. She volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, Ivinson Hospital cancer center and the Laramie Animal Shelter. She was a member of PEO Chapter AX and held many offices.
She is survived by her husband Kim, brother Walt (Catherine) of Klamath Falls, OR, sister Mary Lin of Fort Collins and brother Tom (Susan) of Custer, SD, as well as several nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Barb’s life will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, November 17, in the Alice Hardie Stevens Center. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ivinson Hospital Cancer Center, Hospice of Laramie and the Laramie Animal Welfare Society.