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Obituary: Alice Irwin Barnes

Friends Grad Leaves Legacy For Best Friends

Alice Irwin Barnes, who went to high school at Friends Academy in Locust Valley, passed away in November with her family at her side. She was 50.

A rare and aggressive carcinoid sarcoma was revealed during an unrelated surgery, and despite the best efforts of the excellent doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering, it was a short battle.

But the sorrow of Alice’s passing is tempered by the good she was able to do for those she left behind. “Alice was always taking care of other people, and never herself,” said her husband, George Barnes. “Even at the end, she was always very positive.”

He writes: Alice to the end continued to think about others more than herself.  She had us send direct donations to an organization called Home for Good Dog Rescue, where we’d adopted our dog, Cubby, this past May.

Shortly after Alice died, I got a call from a woman named Toni Ann Turco, founder and director at Home for Good Dog Rescue, who said she had received many phone calls from people who wanted to donate in Alice’s memory.  She was so grateful because they work on almost no budget, and this meant so much to them.

I told her about how Cubby had been Alice’s protector during her illness, and how he had cuddled with her on the couch when she was in pain, or sat by the couch and wouldn’t leave her side if she couldn’t have him on the couch.  I had assumed, and told her as much, that Cubby had come from a family in Georgia that must have treated him well and allowed him on the furniture because within a day of joining our family we found him sprawled out on the love seat in the family room sound asleep.

She told me it was just the opposite—that Cubby was about a day away from being euthanized when HFGDR arrived in Georgia and got him to a foster home.  At the time, he had virtually no fur on his lower torso, was malnourished, and had a horrible skin rash. He didn’t trust anyone (easily understood) and would cower in fear if anyone came near him.

Alice always felt that Cubby brought a breath of life into the house that was missing after we lost Becky, and felt there was a reason we found Cubby and brought him home.

Ella, Cait and I believe that the reason was to look after Alice while she was sick and bring her love and companionship when she was home alone and needed it more than ever.

Last night Toni Ann called to say that at Home For Good Dogs Rescue recent capital fundraising dinner, she told everyone Cubby’s story and how he helped Alice through her illness.  She said that by the time she was done, she was in tears, as was the rest of the room.

This past Monday, she got a phone call. A woman who had been at the event and her husband had decided to make a donation of $10,000 in Alice’s memory.  HFGDR is in the process of moving to a new office, and one of the rooms will be dedicated in Alice’s memory, along with a plaque bearing her name and Cubby’s, and the photo of our family (taken the day we adopted Cubby).

It was a shock to say the least, and as Ella put it, “it’s hard to believe that one stray dog from Georgia coming into our lives could change the world for Mom and for future dogs everywhere . . . he was a true blessing in disguise.”

At latest count, Alice’s request had brought in more than $13,000 for the organization’s dog rescue and rehabilitation efforts.

Born in Hempstead and raised in Levittown, Alice lost her own mother at the age of 10. After graduating from Friends Academy in 1981, she earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in political science and one in philosophy, from the University of Rochester. She and her family moved to Verona, NJ in 1990. She was an instructor for Gallagher Associates in Wayne, NJ, and previously worked at the Daily News Record of Fairchild Publications in Manhattan.  

She was the wife of George F. Barnes; mother of Ella and Caitlin, and the stepdaughter of Carol Irwin. She is also survived by her sister, Eileen Gill and her husband, Thomas; her brother, Christopher Irwin and his wife, Carol; her brother-in-law, Carl Barnes and his wife, Barbara Heffner, and her brother-in-law, Marc Alan; her godson, Brian Gill, and her nephews, Robert Barnes, Thomas Irwin, Gerard Irwin and Keith Ellwood.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Home for Good Dog Rescue, P.O. Box 324, Summit, N.J. 07902, www.homeforgooddogs.org—or any local dog shelter—would be appreciated.

News

You may not actually see who is leaving books and magazines for the commuters at the Locust Valley Train Station, but those who have nicknamed these delightful and dedicated women the “Book Ladies.”

Sue Klein and Joan McCauley, who are Friends of the Library, have been collecting donated books from the community and displaying them at the Long Island Railroad waiting area every week. The Book Ladies have also displayed Locust Valley Library programs so that commuters are aware of all the wonderful events that are going on.  

There will be a different look to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education come September. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Christopher Van Cott is leaving his position to take a similar role in the Oceanside School District. He is following in the footsteps of past OBEN School Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Harrington, who also left to take a similar position in Oceanside last year. The district will begin their search for a replacement for Van Cott this summer.


Sports

The Varsity Baseball Team finished the season with a league record of 11-3-1. In the playoffs, the team swept Carle Place in a best of three set to advance to the county finals vs. Wheatley at Hofstra University. The team finished the season as County runner-ups. The team was a nice combination of veteran varsity leaders and new comers to the varsity with six senior players and four freshmen on the squad. Along with four juniors, the team maintained the winning ways of a program that has won the league championship 7 out of the last eight years and won the county championship 6 of those years. Senior Berkeley Golon, Junior Jackson O’Neill, and Junior Stephen Spiegel received All-County honors. Senior Robbie Venegas and Freshman Harrison Treble received All-League honors. With two All-County pitchers coming back and four freshmen going into their second varsity season mixed with the other juniors and new players coming up from another successful JV season, the team expects to continue to work towards the goal of another county title next season.

The 2014 Oyster Bay High School Lady Baymen varsity spring track team recently completed a most memorable and record breaking season. Two school records were shattered this season; one relay record and one individual. Oyster Bay’s 4x800 meter relay team comprised of seniors Nicole Giannetti, Cassandra Iacono and juniors Linda Cameron and Rachel Wesley, broke the existing school record, and later broke their own record with a time of 10:01.56 at the Section VIII State Qualifier Meet on May 29.

Nicole Giannetti‘s senior year as a member of the Oyster Bay Girls’ Varsity Track team will also be one that will be long remembered. In addition to helping break the school’s 4x800 meters relay record, Giannetti broke the school’s 2000 meter steeplechase record, with a time of 7:23.79. Winning the 1500 meter run in very dramatic fashion at the Nassau Coaches Invitational, with an amazing time of 4:59 was a memorable mid-season highlight. Giannetti earned All-Conference honors in both the 1500 meters and 3000 meter runs and All County honors in the 2000 meter steeplechase. Giannetti qualified for the New York State Track and Field Championship in the 2000 meter steeplechase, finishing fifth and thus earning All-State honors. Giannetti was recruited by Haverford College to run for them when she attends this fall where she will study bio-chemistry.

Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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