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Kenneth Barnett


Kenneth Wayne Barnett, 79, of Worthington, OH passed away on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at the Memory Care Center of Dublin Retirement Village surrounded by friends and family following a brave battle with Lewy Body Dementia. He was born on April 8, 1940 in Mobile, AL; son of the late William Harvey and Nola Hicks Barnett. He married Patricia Jane Olsen on September 2, 1967 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stevens Point, WI. The couple shared 51 wonderful years together with two children, Lisa and Chris. 

After earning his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Ken had a long career in his chosen field including doing research at Shell Oil from 1967-1970. He left the private sector to serve as Professor of Chemistry at the University Missouri, St. Louis, from 1970-1979. From there, he took a position at Ashland Chemical Co. in the research and development department from 1979-2003. One of his proudest achievements was being granted a US patent in 1969 through his research on ethylene oligomerization. He loved teaching and mentoring others as much as he loved chemistry, so it was especially satisfying when these two loves came together in his work. He even found a way to follow these passions in retirement when he taught a few chemistry classes at Ohio State University as an adjunct professor.

During his life, he lived in a variety of locations including Dallas, TX (he wasn’t born in Texas but he got there as soon as he could!), San Leandro, CA (while working for Shell), St. Louis, MO, Worthington, OH and Dublin, OH. He was an active member at All Saints Lutheran Church, where he served on the council in addition to numerous committees and volunteer projects. A favorite project was a mission trip to Pine Ridge Association (a Native American Indian reservation in South Dakota).

Ken was a man of many interests. He loved to read, especially books on Native American history and culture. He also loved a wide variety of music and could readily name artists, song titles and trivia of any of his favorites including The Coasters, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and many others. In his spare time, he loved watching John Wayne movies, playing card games (including but not limited to bridge, poker and cribbage) and a round of golf with friends. He was also an avid sports fan who loved watching his beloved St. Louis Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys. He was a life-long fan of the University of Texas Longhorns and after moving to the Columbus area, he enjoyed rooting for the Ohio State Buckeyes. His love of sports was also carried through when he coached a variety of youth soccer teams for his son and daughter. He also volunteered his time at many local organizations including the Griswold Senior Center.

He was a family man who will be remembered for his intelligence, quick-witted humor and great conversations. He loved telling stories and reminiscing with friends and family. Perhaps his most enduring legacy will be the way he faced his battle with Lewy Body Dementia. Through the years after his diagnosis, he was open and honest about his struggle and wanted to help others after him by participating in an O.S.U. clinical trial and arranging to donate brain tissue for further research after his passing. 

He is survived by his loving wife, Pat; daughter, Lisa (Tim) Jebsen; son, Chris (Katy Fields) Barnett; grandsons, Zach Jebsen and Jason Barnett; granddaughter, Julia Barnett; brother, Mike (Liz) Barnett; along with extended family and friends. 

His family would like to extend a special thank you to everyone who has loved and supported him along the way; especially the team of nurses and doctors before and after his diagnosis, the entire staff at Dublin Retirement Village and the staff of Capital City Hospice. 

A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, September 1, 2019 with an opportunity to greet the family at 1:00pm and the service following at 2:00pm at All Saints Church, 6770 N High St, Worthington, OH 43085. 

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to The Alzheimer’s Association of Central Ohio, 1379 Dublin Rd, Columbus, OH 43215 or St. Joseph School, 1301 N Main St, Chamberlain, SD 57325.

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  • William Morrisey says:

    Godspeed to Pat, the Barnett Family,
    his relatives plus all the friends that
    knew Ken. Enjoyed his thoughtful
    comments at all church events.
    A great American who will get the
    most out of his gift of eternal life.

  • Carol Milligan says:

    My prayers are with you all. He will live forever in your hearts and memories.

  • Janet Shumaker says:

    I will miss his entertaining stories and sharing music with him. Such a wonderful man. Humble kind and gentle. I’m grateful to have known him. Many comforting thoughts to Pat and family.

  • Jackie Russell says:

    Pat- Loved having you both in Movement for a memory. My sincerest condolence. A life well lived! Jackie Russell

  • Ken and Carol Morgan says:

    Prayers to a wonderful family. Ken and I were talking just the other day about our Chris’ and their adventures.

  • Tom Weeks says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about Ken; we worked together for about 20 yrs at Ashland. We would get together for lunch with a few other retirees for a number of years, and it stunned the table when he announced his diagnosis. I enjoyed our poker games together, his sense of humor, and his friendship. I’ll miss him.

  • Irene and Tom Sherrin says:

    Pat and family,
    So sorry to hear of the passing of Ken. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time

  • Donna Crossman says:

    Ken’s long struggle has ended, and he is soul is at peace. His family and friends will grieve but share the hope in a peaceful hereafter. Love and prayers go to Pat, their family, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues. He was a very special man among us.

  • Tom Hackett says:

    As a lowly engineer at Ashland Chemical, I often needed some chemistry advice from someone a lot smarter than me. Ken was always willing to to help out.

  • Jim and Betsy Burke says:

    Pat and family, Jim and I
    were saddened to read about Kenneth’s passing.. We send our sincere sympathy to each of you. May God grant each of you His peace. With fond memories and our love, Betsy and Jim

  • Terri Cochran says:

    Dear Pat , so sorry for your loss my prayers and thoughts are with you and your family .Becky and I always enjoyed the music that awaited us at your house that was ready for us to listen to and amazed at all that Ken could tell us of the groups that he played for us and we looked forward to coming to your house to clean you and Ken always made us feel as family . Again our love and thought are with you and your family Terri @ Becky

  • Buffalo Bob and Marjie says:

    We have been blessed with Ken’s friendship for over 35 years. Through it all, Ken has been a sweet, caring and genuine friend. We’ve enjoyed the laughter and faced the challenges together. In honoring Ken, we laud Pat as well for her loving and steadfast devotion to him throughout their challenges with Lewy Body Dementia. No stone was left unturned as she loved and supported him completely during their long and arduous journey. We will remember our very dear friend, Ken, who lives in our hearts, and we look forward to when we will all meet again. 💞🙏 Buffalo Bob and Marjie

  • Cynthia says:

    Dear Pat and family, It was a great pleasure knowing Kenneth. I will always remember how he would say”Well hello there” or ” Hey kiddo”. It was a pleasure to be with you and him for these many months. God bless. Prayers for strength to you all.

  • Susan Stewart says:

    Dear Patty,
    We have been on vacation and just read about Ken in our old newspaper. So sorry to hear of his passing. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Laura Menardi Jacobsen says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. Much love to the family.

  • Robyn Feinstein says:

    I’m so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

  • Kathy Smith says:

    Ken and his brother Mike are my favorite cousins. I remember Ken especially for his humor and wonderful conversations with me. He was one of those treasured memories from my childhood along with his wonderful parents Uncle Harvey and and Aunt Nola. Theirs was a family full of love and laughter. I shall miss Ken as much as I miss his Mom and Dad. Good thoughts to Pat and his children.

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