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Barnes, Peter “Pete”

(November 19th, 2020)

On Oct 18, 2020, Peter “Pete” Barnes died peacefully at his home in Nelson, BC of congestive heart failure, at the age of 84 years.

Pete was born in Watson, Saskatchewan on Dec 23, 1935 to Polly and Jim Sr. Barabonoff.  Later his parents would change their last name to Barbonoff.  Pete grew up on a mixed use farm to no running water or power initially.  Pete remembers helping his dad till the land behind two Clydesdales.  He spoke of lighting piles of brush to keep the black flies away from the cattle on many nights.  His family had a big garden and canning was part of their life and continued for him throughout his life.

Pete had three brothers, John and Jim and a half brother Nick from Jim Sr. Barbonoff’s first marriage.  In the early 1960s Pete, John and Nick changed their last name to Barnes.  Pete attended the University of Saskatchewan and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1963, and began working as a geological technician and materials testing engineer for the Ministry of Transportation and Highways in BC.  Pete married Doreen Wert in Prince George, BC on June 19, 1962.  They had two children, Barbara Ann Barnes and Brenda Lee Barnes.  Eventually they settled in Taghum, an area just outside Nelson, BC.

Pete was a very handy man and had an amazing knack for figuring things out.  He particularly enjoyed building.  His daughters were animal lovers so for many years the family had horses, chickens, dogs, cats, rodents of all sorts, even a chinchilla!  Pete was always building a fence for this or an enclosure for that. He built one of the first outdoor concrete swimming pools in Nelson.  He assisted building four houses in Nelson, and modified a workshop on his property into a two bedroom house along with his daughter Barbara.

Some of Pete’s interests included astronomy: “we are the stars”, physics, reading, big band music, true crime shows and the Lawrence Welk Show!  Pete would joke “a one and a two…”.  He had a big garden and for many years canned tomatoes, green beans and beets to name a few. He was known as the compost whisperer in his family.  He had a “pet” tractor that for many years he used to plow the driveway in the winter with (when it ran!).  Pete was a practical joker and enjoyed many good times with his friends, among them Steve, Harvey, Edgar and Philip.

Pete is survived by his wife, Doreen Barnes, his daughter, Barbara Barnes and his nieces, Charlene Barbonoff and Shannon Barbonoff.

Pete is predeceased by his daughter Brenda Barnes, his brothers John Barnes and Jim Barbonoff and his half brother Nick Barnes.

Pete was cremated and his ashes are now in a columbarium in Nelson beside his daughter, Brenda.  Per Pete’s wishes there will be no service.  The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff in the Emergency and Medical departments of Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson.  Pete had never stayed overnight in a hospital in his life, and the staff made his stay easier.


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