Rev. Gary Louis Barnes passed away April 3, 2021, in Mesa, Arizona due to long-term complications from COVID-19 and a lifelong battle with diabetes.
Gary was born December 12, 1953 in Eureka, California, to Louis and Wanda Barnes. The family moved to Cordova in 1963, where he and his two brothers, Stephen and Randy, joined their father in our fishing fleet.
He graduated from Cordova High School and enjoyed an internship with the Governor’s Office before enrolling with the Bethel Fellowship Bible College, in Seattle, Washington. It was there he would find his calling, make lifelong friends and convince his wife, LaRue, to marry him.
In 1978, he became a joint pastor in Carnation, Washington. Returning in 1982 to the hometown of Cordova to begin 30-plus years as pastor of The Little Chapel.
Despite his extended battle with diabetes and long hours serving his church, Gary loved to tinker. If it had an engine, he either had, was or was planning on, “fixing” it. He worked on cars, boats, snow machines and even built a kit plane. Many might remember his gyroscope ultralights as well. He loved to fly and he loved the water.
But above all, he loved God and his calling as pastor. For more than 30 years he fulfilled that role for The Little Chapel. Faithfully performing many weddings, funerals, dedications and special services. He strove to spread God’s message at every opportunity. Along with his wife LaRue, he not only supported many missionaries, he also traveled to visit and fellowship with them. He guided the congregation through the planning and building of the current church location. He helped many people find or renew their faith.
Gary was preceded in death by his father Louis Barnes and brother Randy Barnes.
He is survived by his Mother Wanda Barnes, wife LaRue Barnes, daughter Seana Barnes (spouse Jacinta Fowler Barnes), brother Stephen Barnes, niece Taylor Eisberg, nephews Erik and Steffan Ronnegard, his in-laws George and Leona Olsen, and sister-in-law Lennette Ronnegard, who fully adopted him as their own. He proudly stepped in to be an “Uppa” to his step-grandson’s Tyler Bieble and Jacek Grad.
As LaRue and Seana are both currently recovering from their own surgeries, a memorial date and announcement will be made once they are able to safely travel.