David Barnes

Obituary of David Arthur Barnes


On August 16, 2023, David (Dave) Arthur Barnes, 72, most recently of Ocala, FL, swam his last lap right into the arms of Jesus, who will surely appreciate his sense of humor.  Dave leaves his liver behind via organ donation and his family takes comfort knowing that part of Dave will help someone else live to celebrate another Christmas with their family.

    In September 1950, David was born in Iowa City, IA to parents Roberta Keith Barnes and Arthur Morford Barnes (deceased).  He was the fifth of their nine children and immediately assumed his role as family jokester and classic middle child.  Dave found his passion (and competition) for swimming at age 10 at the Iowa City Park Pool.  This continued through junior and senior high at University High School in Iowa City, IA, where he graduated in 1968.  He went on to swim his favorite stroke, the butterfly, for both the University of Iowa and The Pennsylvania State University.

    On a very blind date in Dave’s senior year at Penn State, he met the love of his life, Patti (Homan) in State College, PA.  They married in 1973 and immediately moved to Athens, GA where Dave started graduate school at the University of Georgia.  He received his Masters Degree from UGA in 1975 in Rehabilitation Counseling.  Dave spent the majority of his career in Philadelphia, PA in the Medical Publishing industry where he held positions in both Editorial and Sales & Marketing departments.  After moving to Melbourne, FL in 2004, he worked as a Financial Advisor for Chase Bank.  In retirement, he worked his dream job as a lifeguard for FAST of Ocala.

    Dave was a baseball fanatic and spent weekends watching any game he could find, be it Little League or professional.  He was also an avid runner earlier in life and completed a number of marathons.  In addition to athlete and sports fan, his family and friends will remember him as a jokester, goofball, singer, songwriter, counselor, advisor, clown, coach, birdwatcher, church volunteer, and world traveler, just to name a few.

    Dave leaves behind his wife, Patti of Ocala, FL, his four children, Andrew, of Elk River, MN, Kelli Barnes (Bahram) of Vienna, VA, Sarah Warner (Bradley) of Smyrna, DE and Peter (Amy) of Wilmington, DE and 12 beautiful, precious grandchildren Hayden, Nolan, Emma, Jasper, Sean, Ian, Maddi, Eric, Leah, Austin, Ava and Izzy.  Dave also leaves behind siblings Mike Barnes (Ann), Debbie Bravo (Ed), Susan Merriman (John), Keith Barnes (Susan), Sally Swanson (Carl), and Margie Esopi (Gene), as well as dozens of nieces and nephews.  Dave was met in heaven by grandson Kamran, where we are sure he immediately commenced to telling jokes and playing pranks.  Dave was also preceded in death by sister Janice Teegen (John), brother Ward Barnes, and in-laws Elwood and Aileen Homan.  Dave was many things to many people and the enormity of this loss cannot be put into words, but we know he would have tried anyway.

    Poetically, Dave succumbed to a massive heart attack while swimming the butterfly during his daily workout.  A special thank you to one of his lifelong friends, Jim Kirkendall, for being by his side at the time of his heart attack.  

    In lieu of flowers, please consider becoming an organ donor and/or regularly donating blood products at your local blood bank, which Dave did consistently for the past 15 years.  

    A Celebration of Life is being planned in October in Wilmington, DE.

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