Robert J. “Bob” Barnes, CDR, USN Ret., was born in San Bernardino, Calif., on Sept. 6, 1919, and passed peacefully from this earth into eternity on Oct. 30, 2017. He grew up in Pasadena, Calif., where he attended high school and Pasadena Junior College.
He entered the Navy in 1942 and became an aviator, flying the SB2C Helldiver off the carriers Enterprise and Lexington in numerous battles in the Pacific Theatre of WWII. He was awarded the Navy Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross with Gold Star amongst other medals.
An Internet search of him will reveal stories of his enterprise experience. He married his childhood sweetheart Dodie on VE Day, May 8, 1945. During the Korean War he served on the carrier Bairoko. The family moved to Oak Harbor in 1959 where he spent his early years in the A-3 squadrons VAH-123 and VAH-8 before ending his career as commanding officer of FAETUPAC in 1970.
After retiring, Bob enjoyed fishing, camping and being outdoors. He was always interested in learning new things, traveling and making friends. He had an amazing sense of wonder and curiosity about life.
He really genuinely liked people and would start up conversations with anyone wherever he went. On his camping trips he would eventually meet most everyone in the park. He was a strong man with a big heart. He was easy to love and will be missed by many.
He is survived by his sons Richard and Gary, and grandchildren Ramona and Justin. His wife Dodie and granddaughter Melissa departed before him.
He leaves behind many friends, including the wonderful caring community who made his last days so enjoyable at Regency on Whidbey. He truly enjoyed life to the fullest right to the end and left with a smile.
In his memory please extend a kindness to someone. Make the world a better place one loving gesture at a time in his example. He lived the Golden Rule.
A graveside service was held at Maple Leaf Cemetery, where Bob was laid to rest next to his loving wife and partner Dodie. Military honors were provided by NAS Whidbey Island Honor Guard.
Arrangements entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home, Oak Harbor, Wash.