May 21, 1940 – May 13, 2020
Eugene Keith Barnett of Bostwick passed away peacefully on May 13 following a lengthy illness. Keith was a servant of God and truly tried to live his life by the Golden Rule.
He was born on May 21, 1940 and was the son of the late James David and Mary Byrnes Barnett. He lived most of his life in Oconee County and had resided the past 14 years in Bostwick. He was married to the late Patricia Ruark Barnett.
Keith was a member and former deacon of Bishop Baptist Church and over the years served in many other leadership roles at the church.
He was a 1958 honor graduate of Oconee County High School. This was and is a close-knit group of classmates that started meeting for annual reunions in 1959. Keith and fellow classmate, Elizabeth Miller Bradberry, hold the record for attending each of the 61 consecutive reunions.
He retired from the University of Georgia as foreman of the electric shop. Keith was mainly self-taught and was highly regarded as a gifted electrician. A lot of nights and weekends were spent helping friends, neighbors and acquaintances with both big and small issues. Keith was always willing to assist others and oftentimes did these things with no expectations of pay; he did it because it combined two things that brought him joy—helping others and solving electrical problems.
Keith is survived by three sisters, Patsy James of Madison, Glenda Cunningham of Comer, and Kathy Peacock (Tim) of Bogart, several nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews and a very special group of supper club friends.
Due to the Covid19 recommendations for gathering, a private burial will be held at Bishop Cemetery. A memorial service will be planned for a later date.
In lieu of flowers, those desiring may wish to make a donation to ACTS (Area Churches Together Serving, 130 E. Thompson Street, Bogart 30622) or to a food bank of your choice.
The family would like to express gratitude to Affinis Hospice and especially to Gail, Steve and Rebecca for their compassion and support during Keith’s illness.
Bernstein Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements.
A Private Graveside Service will be held in Bishop Cemetery
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May 14, 2020
Keith, Jimmy Christopher and I were classmates and were close friends in High School. We spent a lot of social time together and formed a lifetime bond. We visited him in High Shoals Rehab until the Virus stopped all visits. We were not able to visit him in recent weeks but kept up with him through his sister, Kathy Peacock.
Our OCHS Class of 1958 had close ties and held annual reunions starting in 1959. Keith and Liz Miller Bradberry attended all 60 of them. See group picture of the 2005 reunion at Bogart.
Keith was a quiet, honest and good person. He was a person of Faith and was an active member of Bishop Baptist Church.
He was a friend for life and will be greatly missed.
Wendell & Betty Dawson, Watkinsville, GA 30677
May 13, 2020
I am Linda Ruark Schwamlein. Keith was married to my sister, Pat, and we were so pleased that he was a part of our family. He faithfully cared for Pat as her health declined through the years. Mom and Dad always appreciated his helpful deeds and the kindness he showed them as long as they lived. Even though he and Pat had no children, they loved all the nieces, nephews, and grandchildren and made them feel so special. Al, my husband, loved Keith because he was a part of the University of Georgia for 30 years. Thank you, Keith, for sharing your life with us. You have a special place in our hearts.
May 13, 2020
May 13, 2020
May 13, 2020
I am Keith’s niece, Dana Ruark Burton. We have many, many memories with Keith. First of all, I have a bone to pick with him because he always told us he would live until he was 105! Secondly, I could never thank he and Pat enough for all they did for Gaven through the years. If I EVER needed anything, those two were the first ones in line and always willing to help. Keith and Gaven would go to Chucky Cheese and Gaven would have the best time! Keith would practice T-ball with Gaven on one of those plastic stands when he was just a little fellow. When Gaven played for the county and started playing for school Keith was always there to watch. From putting an article in the paper to highlight Gaven’s birthday or taking him to see Nanny, I will hold onto these memories! There aren’t many others out there today like Keith and I sure do hope he knows how much I appreciate and love him. Until we meet again...❤️❤️❤️