Sept. 1, 1950 - Sept. 6, 2016
Sonoma has lost one of its finest. On Sept. 6, 2016, Kathleen Therese Barnett passed peacefully away surrounded by her family. She was 66. Kathy, as everyone knew her, was a beloved mother, sister, aunt and loyal friend. She will be greatly missed and never forgotten. She fought a courageous battle with liposarcoma, a rare cancer, for two-and-a-half years. She faced her last months with strength, bravery and unyielding faith. Kathy was born on Sept. 1, 1950 at Sonoma Valley Hospital, then located at Bartholomew Park. She grew up in Boyes and Fetters Springs and graduated from both St. Francis Solano and Sonoma Valley High School. Her love for numbers led her to become a bookkeeper. She worked her way up to become CEO/CFO of John Tate, Inc., a manufacturing company then located on Eighth Street East. For the past 16 years, she owned “Money Matters”, a financial services firm that specialized in accounting, investments, bookkeeping and tax preparation. She loved her work and considered her clients family. She was proud of her Irish heritage. She took many trips back to Ireland to visit the towns where her four grandparents were born, as well as to source products for “The Irish Shop,” a store on the Plaza she opened and operated from 1995 to 1999. She often said her family was meant to end up in Sonoma, as our green rolling hills in winter look just like the old sod. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons she so loved our Valley. She called herself a “Sonoma Girl” and was proud to be the first of many in her family born here. She lived a block off the Plaza for the past 30 years and considered it her own backyard. She beamed with pride when the parades would go by her house. She never had to be told to “shop local.” She always did. She cared deeply about the future of our community. In 2006, she served as treasurer of the “No on C” Committee and also ran for hospital board. She most recently served as treasurer of the North of the Mission Neighborhood Association.
Kathy was fiercely independent, passionate and opinionated. She was known for her infectious laugh, quick wit and compassion. She was an active member of St. Francis Solano Church, the parish at which she received all her sacraments. She loved real estate, the stock market, and “I Love Lucy.” She had a special love for animals. Later in life she took up golf and was an active member of the Sonoma Swingers and Adobe Creek Women’s Golf Club. Above all else, Kathy’s greatest joy was her children.
Kathy is survived by her son, Kelso Grant Barnett, and daughter, Erin Kathleen Barnett; husband, Grant Barnett; sister, Winnie Lanning; brothers, Tim (Terry), James (Carolyn) Whelan; sister-in-law, Beverly McFarland; niece and nephews, Nanette (Taz) Curtis, Kevin (Sandra) Whelan, Steve (Suzy) Lanning, Todd (Cathy) Lanning, Lisa (Dave) Raffo, Casey (Kellie) Whelan, Katie, William and Cristina Whelan. She also leaves behind many grand nephews and nieces, dear friends, her cousins in Chicago, and her beloved dog, Lucy. She is preceded in death by her parents, James Francis and Mary Rita Whelan, and by her brother-in-law, Dean Lanning.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Stanford University Cancer Center, in memory of Kathleen Therese Barnett, 326 Galvez St., Stanford, CA 94305; St. Francis Solano School, 342 W. Napa St., Sonoma, CA 95476; Pet’s Lifeline, 19688 Eighth St. E., Sonoma, CA 95476; or to just simply raise a glass of your choice and toast a life very well lived.