Obituary of Lorraine Barnes
Born in Brooklyn, New York, November 24, 1931
Died in San Diego, California, February 24, 2019
Lorraine Lydia Samut was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1931. In 1952, she left the New York winters for a job with Bank of America in San Diego; and later, with the San Diego Police Department.
She met her future husband, Kurth Barnes, in 1955 in a chemistry class. On the first day of class, Kurth spotted Lorraine and asked her to be his lab partner. She looked him up and down, said okay... and they married a year later. She often said that good chemistry was a foundation for 63 wonderful years of marriage.
With her banking background, she took charge of family finances and soon after got a credit card. As she handed Kurth his card, she admonished him that under no circumstances would there be any interest paid on the account. Kurth said, “Wait, am I not the ‘head of household’?” She responded, “In name only.”
Continuing her education while working, she earned an AA degree at Grossmont College, and a BA degree and teaching credential at San Diego State University. Her career included nursing, teaching, and office manager/ executive secretary for Caltrans.
During that time, Kurth and Lorraine bought a home on a 30-year loan. Lorraine immediately started paying more than the minimum each month: the house was paid off in 15 years. She then deposited the monthly payment amount to the savings account, always keeping the family on a tight budget.
Lorraine wanted to be a “stay at home mom”. Her plan was to get her teaching credential before the children came and teach part time when the children were in school. This she did.
Because of her background and desire for variety, she planned to end her career doing office work. In 1983 she was hired by the State Department of Consumer Affairs, where she worked until 1987. As Kurth approached the end of his engineering career with Caltrans, she applied for a position as office administrator there. After completing her assignment at a field office, the manager of Caltrans’ construction department brought her in to his office to be his executive secretary—just down the hall from Kurth, who managed the maintenance department. For six years they were able to carpool to work and enjoy lunch together.
They retired on the same day in July of 1997. Blessed with 20 years of retirement, they visited much of the world, going on many wonderful cruises.
In 2016, Lorraine was diagnosed with dementia. True to her character, she fought it with the tenacity she approached all challenges in her life. She was explicit on the path she wanted to follow as she approached the end of life. Kurth was with her every day to ensure her wishes were fulfilled by the attending staff. She died at age 87 after a courageous fight.
In addition to her husband, Lorraine is survived by her daughter Lisa Means (David), and son Bryan (Matt), four grandchildren, Larissa, Melissa (Chris), Sarah, and Anne, and four great grandchildren, Rosemary, Madison, Lilian, and Nathaniel. She was preceded in death by her brother Harry.
The Memorial Service will be held at
First United Methodist Church of San Diego on Saturday, March 9, 2019, 1:00 PM
The Burial Service will be at Miramar National Cemetery on Wednesday, March 13, at 9 AM.
In lieu of flowers, you are invited to make a donation in Lorraine’s memory to
Alzheimers San Diego at alzsd.org