January 7, 1956 – February 13, 2019
The extraordinary Lynnette Susan Barnes, 63, passed away in Casa Grande, Arizona on February 13 after eight months of giving cancer hell. Lynne loved her husband and family fiercely, was passionate about animals, and enjoyed science fiction, sports, traveling, and watching other people cook things on television.
Lynne was born on January 7th, 1956 in Plentywood, Montana, and briefly attended elementary school in Canada prior to being raised in Sheridan, Wyoming as the oldest of four siblings. Lynne graduated from Sheridan High School, and went on to work as a police dispatcher before enlisting in the Army, where she worked as a special agent in counter intelligence. When Lynne was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, she met her husband of 36 years, Curtis Wilkins, and became a mother to his three children while continuing careers in the Army Reserves, social work, NSA investigations, and as a public fiduciary. Lynne also earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland.
After Lynne’s medical retirement in 1993, she moved from Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Arizona, back to her hometown of Sheridan, Wyoming, where she assisted her husband in his work for Normative Services, helping to house and rehabilitate children from unstable home environments.
After her husband’s retirement, Lynne and Curt moved to Elbert, Colorado, where they befriended a community of fitness enthusiasts who helped get the two of them in shape. She considered these people dear friends, who became part of her ever-extending family.
After a short time in Hawaii, Lynne settled with her husband in Casa Grande, Arizona, and took long-anticipated vacations to Disneyland and Las Vegas, and had plans to beat cancer and visit the Grand Canyon.
Lynne is survived by her husband Curtis Wilkins, her sons Richard Wilkins and Curtis R. Wilkins IV, her daughter Valerie Williams, her brothers Thomas, Donald and Ronald Barnes, her uncle Gary, five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, numerous cousins, neices and nephews, her dog Banjo, and extended family in Wyoming, Nebraska, Texas and Arkansas. Lynne was preceded in death by (and currently celebrating in eternity with) her father and mother, Carl and Kathleen Barnes, her sister, Rebecca Amsden, her aunt, Vicki Bare, and her nephew, Andrew Barnes, among many beloved others. Like many, Lynne had a complicated relationship with the Catholic church, and was greatly looking forward to the day she could sit in the comfort and grace of her savior, and use the interview skills she’d honed over a long career to get some of her burning questions answered. Good luck, Jesus.
There will be a small gathering in Casa Grande, Arizona at a later date to remember and celebrate Lynne’s life. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation of time or money to a local animal shelter, or a donation to a cancer research foundation of your choosing. And in her honor, remember to “never say I can’t,” and that, “our differences are what make us worth listening to.”