Sunday, March 3, 2024
March 3, 2024

Gordon Wendell Barnes


Nov. 11, 1923 – Oct. 20, 2013

Gordon Barnes, a Salt Springs Island resident since 1989, passed away on October 20th as the result of a heart attack. He was born in Pullman, Washington on November 11, 1923, the son of John and Hazel Barnes. He is survived by his wife, Bianca Barnes, nephews Larry Barnes of Hailey, Idaho, Steve Barnes of Santa Rosa, California, and niece Cindy Ochoa of Belmont, California. When Gordon was very young his family moved to Berkeley, California where he attended the public schools and graduated from Berkeley High School. Gordon served in the U. S. Army from 1944 to 1946 and participated in the Allied invasion of Germany and Austria. After the war Gordon served as an apprentice cabinet maker in San Francisco. In 1949 he married Bianca Kempton, a native of Montreal. In 1954 they moved to Vancouver. Gordon was a student in the College of Engineering at the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1959. Bianca and Gordon went to England that year with the intention of exploring the waters there and stayed for five years, initially in London, then in Leicester, where Gordon was employed by English Electric. They had a vision of building a boat in which to sail across the Pacific Ocean, returning to Vancouver with that purpose in mind in 1963. Gordon worked as an engineer for the Council of Forest Industries. In his free time he began work on what was to become his magnificent boat, the “Adriana”, and continued work on it after he and Bianca retired and moved to Salt Springs Island in 1989, living in their beautiful home in the woods on Fulford Road. Bianca recorded the odyssey of Gordon’s efforts in “Real-Time Boatbuilding”, the book that they published in 2009. Gordon was a frequent contributor to the letters to the editor in the Driftwood, on global warming. His cardiac problems caught up with him and he passed away on October 20, 2013. There will be no service.

Gordon will be missed and remembered by the many people who knew him and cherished his friendship, his acumen and his sense of humor.   

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Salt Spring Island
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