Over 150 people gathered at the North Fork Town Hall on Friday, May 4th, to celebrate the life of a much-beloved member of the community, Paul Barnes. Paul passed quietly from this earth on March 19, 2012, surrounded by loved ones and under the care of Optimal Hospice.
Paul is survived by his wife of 71 years, Ila M. Barnes, son Stephen H. Barnes and wife Joyce of North Fork, daughter Sue and husband Larry Patterson, also of North Fork, daughter Bonnie Jean of North Dakota, seven grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren.
Paul W. Barnes was born May 4, 1916 in East New York. After meeting and marrying the love of his life, Ila Loosley, in Portola, Ca, Paul was drafted into the Army in 1940. Their son Steve was born in Carmel, and was just over a year old when Paul was shipped out in 1944. After serving in a supply unit, he came home when the war ended in late 1945.
It was then that Paul and Ila moved to North Fork. After a short time, Paul took a job with Southern California Edison in Big Creek, where he worked for 31 years as a powerhouse operator. After retiring, they moved back to North Fork, immediately becoming involved in the community that they had always loved.
Members of his family and the North Fork community shared tales and memories of Paul, from his crowded work bench to his willingness to help anyone in need. His gentle way of coaxing people into participating in things that mattered to him, and his never-ending support of his friends and his community. Paul and Ila joined Grace Community Church, U.C.C., the Lions Club, the Squirrel Cage Theatre Group, Friends for Life (a cancer support group), and Citizens on Patrol. Paul was Santa for many Christmas celebrations at the Town Hall.
A man of many hats, Paul was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, friend, church and community member. The tables at the Town Hall were adorned with all the various hats Paul wore in his service to the town he loved. His wonderful smile, his stories, his love and support are greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Paul is survived by his wife of 71 years, Ila M. Barnes, son Stephen H. Barnes and wife Joyce of North Fork, daughter Sue and husband Larry Patterson, also of North Fork, daughter Bonnie Jean of North Dakota, seven grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren.