Remembering Dean Barney, 1946-2020

Family and friends are remembering Dean Barney, and sharing this with the community:

Dean was a man of quiet strength with an unwavering moral compass who loved to explore throughout his career and life. Whether delighting in well-planned excursions with family to explore nature’s vast treasures, carefully stewarding the financial strength of many diverse organizations, or being there to build puzzles with his daughter, share sports tips with his son, or share a laugh with his wife, Dean was a pillar of strength who faced life with good humor and a commitment to supporting others.

On July 12, 2020 at the age of 73, Dean died peacefully surrounded by family and a lifelong friend after a two-and-a-half-year valiant battle with acute myeloid leukemia. Birdsong, sunshine, and a gentle breeze accompanied Dean on his final journey. He is survived by his loving wife of 38 years Ginny Barney, daughter Beth, and son John.

Born a twin in Portland, Oregon in 1946 to USAF Colonel Russell Barney and Mrs. Helen Barney (née Funderburgh), Dean was an 8th generation descendant of Ian Robbins, a pioneer on the Oregon Trail. Dean and his three sisters – Myrna Barney, Gini Corvi, and his twin Connie Gill – were raised in many places in the US and abroad during their father’s military service. After high-school graduation from Highland HS in Albuquerque, NM in 1964, Dean attended the University of Colorado in Boulder on an ROTC scholarship for two years, followed by two years of service in the Navy. He worked several jobs to fund his education, completing his degree at UCB in business in 1970 before attending the University of Washington, where he completed his MBA in 1971.

Dean’s professional career as a financial executive began in public accounting and spanned many diverse areas from cable television to mineral water to the performing arts. Later in his career he devoted his many talents to bolstering the financial capabilities and stability of many notable Seattle arts organizations including the Intiman, Seattle Children’s, and ACT Theatres, where his financial acumen and dedication to sharing his knowledge across organizations helped support vibrant theatre in the region for years.

Throughout life, Dean enjoyed exploring nature’s bounty with Ginny, family, and friends – camping, hiking, and cycling through the diverse natural treasures of the American West and around the world. From paddling the rivers of the Pacific NW to exploring the red rock canyons and rich cultural history of the desert Southwest, Dean loved adventure.

As four-decade residents of West Seattle, the Barneys welcomed many friends into their home near Lincoln Park to appreciate the beauty of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains along with their hospitality and playful presence.

Dean’s family and friends will miss his quiet, strong presence, meticulous planning, love of nature, dry wit, and unwavering banter about the perils of pets.

The Barney family extends their deep thanks to the dedicated nurses and doctors of Kaiser Permanente, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and UW Medicine for their encouragement and extraordinary care throughout Dean’s hard-fought battle with cancer.

Friends wishing to honor Dean’s life are encouraged to support the Leukemia Lymphoma Society through his daughter’s dedicated website and local organizations dedicated to the beautiful trails of the region: the Washington Trails Association and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

4 Replies to "Remembering Dean Barney, 1946-2020"

  • Liz July 23, 2020 (9:26 am)

    What a beautiful tribute. May he rest in peace.

  • MS July 23, 2020 (9:47 am)

    Sorry for your loss.

  • searchforacure July 23, 2020 (11:48 am)

    as someone else who lost a father the exact same age to aml, i feel your loss. my he rest in peace and may you find solace each time you walk through the beauty that is the pacific northwest landscape.

  • Kerstsi Muul July 23, 2020 (7:46 pm)

    Love to you Ginny….

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