Johnson Walton Funeral Home

Francis V. Barnes Ph.D.

Francis V. Barnes Ph.D.

Francis Vincent Barnes, Ph.D., 72, of Tinicum Township, PA passed away on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA from cancer related causes.

Born April 23, 1949 in Orange, NJ, Francis grew up in Maplewood NJ and graduated from Columbia High School in 1967. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1971 from Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, PA where he met his beloved wife, Patti. They wed on Feb 23, 1972. Francis started his career in the Pittsburgh Public School District and remained there for 16 years. His career there included being a Health and Physical Ed teacher, coaching football, girls’ basketball and swimming, and ending in administration as a Dean of Students at Allegheny Middle School. While teaching he returned to graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh and earned his Master’s of Education in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Educational Administration in 1986. Francis continued his career at North Allegheny High School as a vice principal, and then principal, from 1987-1991. His position as a Superintendent began at Hopewell School District from 1991-1994, then Huntingdon Area School District from 1994-1998 and finishing at Palisades School District from 1998-2011, from which he retired. In addition, Francis was the first African American to serve as the PA State Secretary of Education, under Governor Ed Rendell from 2004-2005. After retirement, his passion for education continued with work in the Chester Upland School District, as well as being a consultant for the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE), headquartered in Washington DC, until this past August when he retired for the second time.

Francis was a music lover. He played the piano and flute. He played in multiple bands over the years, most recently playing with the Praise Band of the Upper Tinicum Lutheran Church. He was an avid basketball fan. Francis played basketball until the age of 70. He started a popular recreational basketball group, which met weekly on Saturday at the Palisades High School Gym. He had a passion for cars and loved driving them. Francis was an active member of the Springfield, PA Lions Club when first coming to the area.

Son of the late John H. and Anna Mae (Henderson) Barnes, Francis is survived by his beloved wife of 49 years, Patricia “Patti” J. (Gahagan) Barnes, his son Travis Barnes and his wife Ramona of Purchase, NY; his daughter Tanya Ripley of Mt. Laurel, NJ, and his five grandchildren Malakai, Kaden, Miko, Kendall, and Magnolia.

A Celebration of Francis’ Life will be held on Sunday, October 3, 2021 at 10AM at the Palisades High School Athletic Field, 35 Church Hill Road, Kintnersville, PA and will be officiated by the Reverend Timothy Taylor. Arrangements are under the care of the Johnson-Walton Funeral Home, 24 Church Road, Milford, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Palisades School District, 35 Church Hill Road, Kintnersville, PA 18930, memo stating: Dr. Francis V. Barnes Scholarship.


From: Natalie Griffin

From: LaVerne Anthony
My deepest condolences to the Barnes family! May God provide you with His peace that surpasses all understanding! Francis and I were colleagues at PPS and we went to graduate school together. May he now rest in the arms of our Heavenly Father!

From: Carl Cohn
My sincere condolences to the Barnes family and friends! I was honored to serve as the chair of his dissertation committee at the University of Pittsburgh back in 1986. Francis was an outstanding student and a remarkable educational leader who touched many lives over the course of his long and distinguished career. His was a life well-lived!

From: Dr. Monika Wiley
I offer my condolences to you and your family. I pray for peace and comfort for you and your loved ones.

From: Pamela Hayling Hoffman
Dear Patti and family, I was so sad to learn of Frank’s battle with cancer but so proud to learn of his meteoric rise in his professional career in the area of Education. Frank and I attended Columbia High School together and I spent many Saturdays watching Frank snd friend Steve Burrell play on Columbia’s football team. Frank’s humor and humble spirit was notable. He loved telling us, his friends stories and jokes when we all convened and partied at my family home in South Orange. May he Rest In Peace!

From: Adunni Slackman Anderson
Sending heartfelt condolences to you Patti, your children, grands and family in loving memory of my dear, childhood friend Frank. We mourn his passing but celebrate his life with appreciation and gratitude. May God keep you all in His warm embrace!

From: Bonita Waitl
This comes with deep sadness that the family and community has lost this beloved man! When my daughter Vickie was not doing well after a liver transplant at University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Dr. Barnes took a day to go to visit her, to encourage her. That meant so much to her and to me as her mother. I got to thank him for caring about her when one day I met him in the bank, and got one of his "big bear" hugs. I'm sure Vickie got one of those hugs from him as he entered heaven where she is also. I'm so sorry you lost your husband, father and grandfather!

From: Robert Crutcher
One of the best people I've had the pleasure to know. Rest well "Jet" until we meet again.

From: William Corbin
Francis was one of the good guys! He was the best thing that ever happened in the Huntingdon Area School District. I served on the school board during his administration where I discovered that he was not only a superb manager, but had a sincere interest in the well being of our staff and students. He remains in my top-10 list pf people I have admired. He will be missed.

From: Roy Turvey
I offer my prayers and condolences to the family of my dear friend Francis Vincent Barnes.. my buddy (Frank) .My heart is broken...I will miss your voice and your presence. Frank. Thank you for all the hours we shared!!! Love ya' my brother, Roy

From: Jamie Russler
Sending love to Dr. Barnes loved ones. Dr. Barnes made a life long impact on every kiddo at Jackson-Miller Elementary. From dribbling a basketball down the halls to giving each kid a giant size high five and warm hello/how are yous. He made an immeasurable impact. He will be remembered fondly.

From: David Christopher
Dr. Barnes hired me in 1996 at Huntingdon as an elementary teacher. He had an amazing memory and never forget someone's name and how he knew them. After he left Huntingdon in 1998, I didn't see him again until many years later. As soon as he saw me, without even missing a beat, he said, "Hello David." He turned to the person he was standing next to and said, "I hired David in Huntingdon as an elementary teacher." Turned back to me, and said, "It's good to see you. What are you doing now?" I'll never forget that. Please accept my condolences. He was an amazing person, and I glad that I got the chance to know him. My family and I will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

From: Amy Riley
My heart felt condolences to Dr. Barnes’ family! I was a student of HAHS when was our superintendent from 94-98. He knew every student, teacher, and Facility! He was an amazing man who always wanted to shake hands with us. I remember his hands were large compared to our, but his heart was even bigger!

From: Linda and Jay Grubb
RIP Dr. Barnes you will always be in many hearts you were a wonderful man that we are blessed to work with and call our friend our Prayers are with your family. ( Huntingdon )

From: Sylvia Kurtz
Sending sincere sympathy to all members of Dr. Barnes's family. I was one of his first hires when he was superintendent at Huntingdon Area School District, and I am very grateful that he believed enough in me to support my candidacy and allow me to enjoy many years of teaching. Every time I saw him, he flashed that huge smile, shook my hand, called me by name, and asked how everything was going. Dr. Barnes gave unselfishly to the field of education, and we are the ones who benefited personally and professionally.

From: Jennifer Miller Hollingshead
Patti and family, We are praying for you all at this sad time. Francis was an amazing man and touched so many of our lives. Our family is so blessed to have known him Sincerely, Jen , Jill , Nicholas, Scott and families

From: Sue Bogard
I was part of the team that brought Dr. Barnes to Palisades. I will always regard that Jersey boy with deep respect even though we had our moments. His family was everything to him.

From: Tom and Nancy Snare
To the family of Francis Barnes, we are truly sorry for your loss and send our prayers and deep sympathy. We remember Dr. Barnes with fondness as he led Huntingdon School District.

From: Dan Waite
I starting my teaching career in Huntingdon in 1995 and as a substitute. I knew no one and I can remember him walking in the room, introduced himself, gave me a hardy firm handshake and said he appreciated me coming in and if I needed anything to stop by his office. After that, he always said hi to me by name and I always enjoyed seeing him. Such a wonderful man that loved kids. I was very sad to see him go and Huntingdon has not been the same. My prayers for his wife, children and grandchildren. He left a wonderful legacy. I am very honored to call him my friend. Rest in peace my friend.

From: Debra K. Hickes
He was such a gift to our school district while he was in Huntingdon! My prayers are with the family.

From: Melissa Hobbs
Dr Barnes was truly a wonderful man!!! He was an inspiration to me during my HS years at Huntingdon. He helped me and guided me during and right after I graduated. I will be forever grateful to him. Prayers for comfort and healing to his family.

From: William Odor
We wish to express our deepest condolences on the passing of your loved one. He will be fondly remembered.

From: Sandra Harris
This was a very loving and concerned educator of our youth. He stood with me in a long battle between me and the middle school principal when my son was ill. I think of this man often. Love and prayers to your family

From: Lois Mularchuk
My heartfelt condolences to Patti and family. Francis was a truly wonderful man. It was a blessing to know him. May you find comfort in God during this very difficult time.

From: michael roberts USAF retired
frank was my 2nd cousin on my father's side. the big brother i wish i had. he did have a passion for cars that lead me to become a lifelong car addict when i was about 3 or 4 when frank was about 8, so it was a joy whenever parents took my brothers and i would visit him and my aunt anna and uncle john at their home in maplewood nj, especially when my great-grandmother mrs elizabeth henderson was still alive ( the only great grandparent i ever met.). so good when we caught up back in 2016 at my cousin dorothy's wedding and i got the honor and pleasure to have met patti. my condolences to patti, tanya and travis.

From: Jim Sxanlon
My thoughts and prayers go out to Patti, Travis, Tanya, and the entire Barnes family. Francis had a positive influence on everyone with whom he came in contact. He made a difference to many. Rest In Peace my friend.

From: Carole O’Connell
What an awesome and gracious man. He was a mentor and friend to my daughter, Dr. O’Connell, the current Superintendent at Palisades. He was a sounding board and provided wise counsel. He was so gracious when my 92 year old mother and I joined him and my daughter for lunch. He made my mom feel so special. I will always have wonderful memories of Francis. RIP

From: Faith Lester
Frank , was my first cousin, his Fad and my Mom were siblings. I have many fond memories of UncleJohn, Aunt Anna and Frank coming to Virginia during the summer. Frank loved the country life style, Aunt Anna not so much. He will be missed with that beautiful smile. Patty, Tanya, Travis, hold on to the good memories, they will help to substain you along with prayer. Much love, Faith

From: Robert Denson
Coach Barnes was a Damn good man and will be miss I had the honor to play for him at Westinghouse high school during the 80s learn so much from him at a young aged which, I still live by today.

From: Robert Gavin
To my friend from the very first days Patti and Francis arrived in Upper Bucks County. I wish you the most enjoyable trip to County Heaven. Francis. It was such a pleasurable experience working with Patti and Francis finding the right lot, and building their dream home here in Palisades. I can say that Francis was one of the finest gentlemen and devoted husband, father, and grandfather I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. We'll always be close friends, even into perpetuity. Francis was an exceptional educator, he never left a child behind...each and every child was importany and special to him. May God Bless you will certainly be missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting you, knowing you, and taught by you.

From: Melinda Rizzo
My condolences on the death of Dr. Barnes- I knew him many years ago while covering Upper Bucks Technical School JOC meetings for The Morning Call when he was the superintendent of record. His humor and kindness were always evident, and he always made himself available and returned phone calls so I could get the story right-

From: Chris Olsson
My condolences to the entire Barnes family. Frank was a true leader in aspects of life. He touched everyone he came in contact with love and kindness. He will be remembered greatly by all. Thank you Frank for all that you did. You left this world a better place with your presence.

From: Chris Olsson
My condolences to the entire Barnes family. Frank was a true leader in aspects of life. He touched everyone he came in contact with love and kindness. He will be remembered greatly by all. Thank you Frank for all that you did. You left this world a better place with your presence.

From: Gloria Duncan
It is with heartfelt sympathy that we pay tribute to the remarkable work and incredible career of Dr. Francis Barnes in changing the approach to the education world. Whereas we mourn his loss, we celebrate the great life that he lived and all the tremendous contributions that he leaves with us. It was my pleasure being a part of his NISL training and changing so many of my perspectives on what could be, beyond what we had accepted and limited in our thoughts. God bless his family and all the lives he touched in the world in challenging us to think beyond the pale, take risks to make a difference, and to never fear the impact of change in society. God bless you all.

From: Elnora Webb
“God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things has passed away.”

From: Robert Hughes
We are all so sad today, Francis. We loved you so much as a friend, a mentor, a colleague, a researcher, and very, very much more. I enjoyed running seminars with you in NISL and in working on leadership in the PA schools. That broad smile, that special laugh, and that caring will be in my memory every day that I am on this earth. I know I will see you again or at least look for me and pull me up as you always did. Ad astra, my brother. Bob

From: Laura
Sending our love and condolences from 611 Auto Sales. Dr. Barnes’ friendship was a gift. It’s rare in this world to find someone who’s advice is always just right, pops in at the right moment, and accepting of people exactly as they are. We will proudly place on display a model panamera in his memory.

From: Nicki Di Cicco
Please accept my prayers and condolences on the passing of Dr Barnes. His life is a legacy of a life well lived. He will be missed. May he Rest In Peace and blessings and comfort to his family

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