On Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, Kimberly Dawn Barnes, 56, died after fighting a long battle with illness. With her to the end were her husband, James Barnes, and her son, True Barnes. She is also survived by her father, Dale Reinking, of Bremerton, Wash., her sister, Kathryn Beckett, of Carmichael, Calif., and her aunts and cousins.
Born in Martinez, Calif., Kimberly grew up in Berkeley and always considered herself an East Bay girl. There she became involved in social justice and environmental movements. She was even once arrested at a demonstration dressed fetchingly as a Mission Blue Butterfly.
Kimberly moved to Eugene, Oregon, in 1993. At that time she met James and they were married on the Oregon coast in 1999. Their son, True, was born in 2000.
Kimberly received a B.A. in history from the University of Oregon in 2001. She continued to follow her interest in early modern European history. She read and reread all of Jane Austen’s works, was a huge Rush fan, and had a broad and eclectic musical taste.
Kimberly wanted to be closer to her grandparents, so her husband, James, found a teaching job at Half Moon Bay High School and they moved to the Coastside in 2001. Here she met lifelong friends whose kids were son True’s age, and who grew up together. True was her pride; they were very close. She was so happy to see him in marching bands in high school and at Oregon State University.
Kimberly became a Special Education teacher, and first worked for several schools in Redwood City, particularly Orion Alternative. She then came over to work on the Coastside at El Granada and Farallone View elementary schools. She was always so thankful for the support from her colleagues, mentor teachers, classroom aides and school staff, wherever she worked. Kimberly was devoted to her students, and always wanted to know how they were doing once they left her classes.
Kimberly loved the water and spent many summers on her grandparents’ sailboat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. She was so happy when she and James bought a boat and relived that time, swimming and visiting the places she remembered. She loved being by the ocean, and one of her happiest recent moments was when we at last saw the twinkling of the crab boat lights out at sea.
Kimberly had a sharp wit and a keen eye for humor in all things. She was beloved by a vast network of friends and family, and very close friends indeed. She loved them back strongly and loyally, and left an indelible mark on all our hearts.
Memorial events for Kimberly will be held at a later date. Donations in Kimberly’s name are being collected by the Big Wave Project https://www.bigwaveproject.org/give/. The Big Wave Project assists local adults with special needs, enabling them to live independently, close to family and friends on the coast.