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.