View Full Version : John Barnes 1952-2011

04-07-2011, 10:52 AM
It is with great sadness that I inform the Rising Sun Club of a member's passing far too soon. Known simply as "John" on the RS forum, he was a new member with much enthusiasm for rejoining the off-roading community. He began his Colorado backwoods adventures in 1972 as a tour guide for a dude ranch on Guanella Pass and owned an early FJ40 way back then. He will be greatly missed by his friends. The following is his obituary:

John R. Barnes, 59, passed away suddenly in his home Tuesday April 5, 2011. A celebration of John’s life will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, April 10 at the Horan & McConaty Family Chapel, 1091 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver. He was a partner with his brother Steve and father Bob in Pneumatics Unlimited Inc. and is the current owner of Audio Unlimited in Denver.

John was born on March 25, 1952 in Wilmington, OH and moved to Colorado in the early 70’s. He attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo, CO. Before partnering in 1982 with his brother and father he worked as a salesman in industrial distribution.

John enjoyed many passions. His love of music inspired him to start Audio Unlimited, and he made many wonderful friends in the process. He raced his favorite car, an Alfa Romeo, with the Sports Car Club of America, and enjoyed 4 wheeling with his wife and beloved dogs. John was a renaissance man who loved reading, music, wine, meeting new people, and enjoying all of his friends.

He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Pam Buhl, his mother Sue, Sisters Cindy Barnes-Chazin (David), Cheryl Brereton, brothers Steve (Linda), Mark (Pat) and Paul Barnes, and many nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John's name to the charity of your choice. Written condolences may be sent to John's wife:
Pam Buhl
3205 E Colorado Ave
Denver, CO 80210
Any business questions should be directed to Carl Jerritts at carl@audiounlimiteddenver.com

04-07-2011, 10:55 AM

I'm in shock. What happened Steve?

John was a cool dude, I enjoyed talking with him and wheeling with him. Peace brother.

Caribou Sandstorm
04-07-2011, 11:00 AM
This is the same John that lives down the street from me.

This is a real bummer, super nice guy. Drives a tan 60.

04-07-2011, 11:06 AM
Oh my gosh! I sat with him in March after the meeting at Hops.....wow.

Very sorry to hear. I will miss talking with him, he was a good guy.

04-07-2011, 11:18 AM
:( Really, ugh. :( I had a great conversation with him at Hops after that meeting. He was a cool cat tellin me all about alfa's in the day.

04-07-2011, 11:35 AM
Shocked! This is such sad news. I just saw him a few weeks ago when he stopped by the house with his pups.

Dr. Schlegs
04-07-2011, 12:00 PM
:bawl: John was a great guy. It is sad to hear that he has passed. I have fond memories of John and always enjoyed talking to him. He always had a smile and a great story to tell.

04-07-2011, 12:14 PM
Very sad news indeed.

04-07-2011, 12:19 PM
well darn.

04-07-2011, 01:01 PM
Wow...What a shock :(

I'm at a loss for words...

04-07-2011, 02:14 PM
I'm in total shock! he was the first person I met at a RS meeting. My thoughts are with his family.

Shark Bait
04-07-2011, 03:21 PM
I'm not sure that I knew John, but it's certainly sad to hear.

04-07-2011, 03:44 PM
John was a great guy.

Commander as a suggestion we should send his family some flowers. You can do up to $75 w/o a vote

04-07-2011, 03:58 PM
Man, that's crazy.. So sad to hear..

04-07-2011, 04:05 PM
sad, sad to hear, and ironic,

I was reading the thread about being nice to people the other day and it actually made me think of John.

He was one of the first to introduce himself and was always very nice and very genuine, and seemed like he was always smiling every time I saw him.

Caribou Sandstorm
04-07-2011, 04:40 PM
John and I shared two car passions, Toyotas and Alfas..

My mechanic for the last 10 years on my Alfa, was John's best friend and best man at his wedding 24 years ago..

In a rare twist, Dale (the Mechanic), after almost 60 years in a man's body, decided to have a sex change operation a few years ago and become Karen.

When John and I first met last year, we talked about Alfas and Dale/Karen...

My perception was that John and Karen did not necessarily have a falling out after Karen's operation but there seemed to be some distance between them.

I spoke to Karen today after reading the first post..Karen said she knew about John, as his brother Steve had called her on Tuesday with the news.

Karen went on to say that on Monday of this week, John had brought over his Alfa for Karen to work on and they really enjoyed several hours of talking about old times and hanging out. I think both John and Karen were looking forward to that friendship rekindling again.

In a way, it makes me wonder what might have had a hand in these two friends coming back together and finding peace with their friendship before John left for his next journey, if there is such a place.

Man you just never know when your dance card is up! Might as well make the most of it!

The one thing I really liked about John, was he always had a good story and was willing to listen to yours, as well.

May the road rise up to meet you;
May the wind be always at your back,
the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

And may you be in heaven 1/2 hour before the devil knows you're dead.


04-07-2011, 05:02 PM
John, Dean Baranski, James Bingham and I spent a long weekend camping at the Great Sand Dunes the week before Memorial Day last year. Here are several pictures taken during the trip. The first shows John in camp along with his 60 and Deano in the background. The second picture is of John's choice of camp beverages, all top shelf, that he very unselfishly shared with us until it was gone. The last pic, I think, shows the highlight of the trip for John - he loved the camaraderie of his getting stuck and being pulled right out. It also gave him good reason to build his truck up some, which he was in the middle of doing right up until this past weekend. He really enjoyed being a part of Rising Sun and looked forward to spending time on the trails. I'm proud to say he was a friend and he is missed mightily.

04-07-2011, 05:14 PM
wow, I'm in shock over here. I'll never forget John doing the creek crossing at last summer's Argentine cleanup day.. that water was over the hood! All were impressed... I'm sure there's a picture of that up here somewhere. You'll be missed, John. :cheers:

04-07-2011, 05:20 PM
:thumb: :(

Uncle Ben
04-07-2011, 07:06 PM
John was a great guy.

Commander as a suggestion we should send his family some flowers. You can do up to $75 w/o a vote

AYE! :thumb::thumb:

04-07-2011, 07:19 PM
John's wife Pam enjoyed being on the trail as much as he did - she knew how happy it made him to be exploring Colorado in his Cruiser. I'm sure the family would appreciate the thoughtfulness of flowers as they would any club representation at his memorial.

Dr. Schlegs
04-07-2011, 09:09 PM
I have given the Club Treasurer the task of donating money (per the families wishes) to a cause that John held dear. If anyone knows a place that John donated his time to or some cause that John felt strongly about please post. I plan on attending the service on Sunday. I'm saddened by the news and I wish I would have gotten the chance to know John better in his time with us. If there is anything that people can think of to show our respect for the family beyond the donation please let others know.

Off the top of my head - It might be nice to have the family come to our picnic/trail ride and just spend sometime reflecting on John's life and share stories.

Chris I think your story is great. John truly seemed to accept everyone.

04-07-2011, 09:54 PM
I was lucky enough to talk to John during the March meeting. He asked about my build and how it was going. Nice thing was he really listened and asked questions about it. He was a great member and a big loss to the club.

In the article they ask not to send flowers but instead donate to a fund in John's name. I think we should follow their wishes and donate the cash to something like Stay the trail or ???? In addition I would like to add $25 to the fund.

Any other members want to join in? We can PayPal the money to the club account and write one check or the treasurer may have a better way,

04-07-2011, 10:35 PM
i just saw this and can't believe it. John was an awesome guy. Unbelievable! He will definitely be missed.

04-08-2011, 02:28 AM
RIP John.

04-08-2011, 10:10 AM
RIP. We still don't know what happened?

I was also able to share some great conversation with him at hops. I was fascinated to hear all his story's about his early days being a 4x4 guide up in the Geneva area in the 70's.

04-08-2011, 11:25 AM
Aw man. I hate losing friends. :( John was a cool guy.

04-08-2011, 12:18 PM
Wow, I'm in shock. Two nights ago, I was wondering where he was at Hops. I loved hanging out with him and hearing his stories about wheeling in the early 70s and adventures with high-end audio. In February, he told me an epic story about buying a whole system of Cello equipment (a company founded by Mark Levinson) that was probably worth $200K when it was new, and selling it to a collector in Hong Kong.

I'm glad I got to know him. I miss him already.

04-09-2011, 02:19 AM
That is sad to hear John will be missed. He always had great stories that made me laugh. May you rest in Peace.

Dr. Schlegs
04-10-2011, 06:50 PM
I attended the service today for John. It was nice to hear more stories about him and I truly wish I would had had more time to know him. I spoke to his wife who was touched by the offer to come to our picnic, and graciously accepted the invite. She reported that John would have wanted money to be donated to Stay the Trail. So in keeping with John's wishes Rising Sun will make a donation in John's memory of $75. If anyone would like to add to this dollar amount please send money via Paypal.