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home : obituaries : obituaries May 26, 2016

11/9/2012 6:33:00 AM
Donald K. Barnes
Donald K. Barnes
Donald K. Barnes

Donald K. Barnes, 77, died Oct. 27, 2012, at Our Home K-Care, Lake Tomahawk. 

Son of Horace and Ruby Barnes, Dr. Barnes was born in Minneapolis, Minn., and raised in Deephaven, Minn. He received the B.S. in agronomy and plant genetics and M.S. in plant breeding and Plant Pathology, both from the University of Minnesota, and the Ph.D. in genetics and plant pathology from Pennsylvania State University. Following graduate school, Dr. Barnes joined the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he worked until his retirement in 1995. His first work as a plant geneticist was done in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, then in Beltsville, Md., and later in St. Paul, Minn., for the last 26 years of his career. 

At the University of Minnesota-St. Paul, Dr. Barnes led a USDA program to breed disease-resistant alfalfas and develop specialty-use alfalfas. His research paved the way for marked improvements in alfalfa yields and quality. 

In recognition of his scientific achievements, Dr. Barnes was recognized by the Agricultural Research Service with the Midwest Scientist of the Year Award, the USDA Distinguished Service Award, and by his election to the ARS Science Hall of Fame in 2004. For his scientific contributions to the alfalfa seed industry, he received awards from the National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders, the Certified Alfalfa Seed Council, the North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference, and was elected a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America. He received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Minnesota in 1996. 

Donald is remembered by scores of friends and colleagues for his humility, integrity, compassion, and outstanding interpersonal skills. 

Dr. Barnes is survived by his wife, Joyce Barnes, of Minocqua; one sister, Betty Swanson; children Dara Northfield and Davis Barnes; stepchildren Kristen Hancuch, Kenneth Johnson, Thomas Johnson, Joel Johnson, and Jacob Johnson; 16 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. 

He was predeceased by his parents and daughter Dawn McDowell. 

Memorial services will be announced at a later date.  

If so desired, donations in Donald’s memory may be directed to American Parkinson Disease Association at 135 Parkinson Ave., Staten Island, NY, 10305; or Dr. Kate’s Hospice, P.O. Box 770, Woodruff 54568. 

Mrs. Joyce Barnes may be contacted at 10148 Ridgewood Drive, Minocqua, WI. 54548.

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