Profile Tom J. Barnet
Tom J. Barnet class of 1963
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Tom J. Barnet

Tom Barnet passed away on Sept 4, 2012 in Southern Ohio.  He was memorialized in his obit as a long walker and a long talker.  I think that statement is appropriate as Tom loved to walk long distances in his beloved woods in Ohio.  He also loved to talk...we had telephone conversations over the last 2 years that exceeded three hours in length.  He was my longest-lived friend as I knew him from 6th grade until he died.  Unfortunately, I had not had a chance to visit him in Ohio although I was very close to his home while on a tour of the Northeast in October of 2011.  Tom lived life on his terms.  He didn't care what people thought and was as forthcoming regarding his deep feelings for those he cared for as any person I have ever met.  Too bad he could not have lasted a year longer to make it to the 50th reunion.  He died of cancer at the age of 67.

"Tom was single when he died...he had one daughter named Neola who was born about 1982. He spent 2 years in the Peace Corps in El Salvador and spent a great deal of time in Central and South America.  He took care of his aging mother, Kathryn, until she died at the age of 94.  Both of Tom's parents, as it happened, died in Ohio: his father in the 1980's while visiting and his mother after they moved back to Ohio from Sherman Oaks, California.

Tom was a peacemaker but never walked away from a fight...he never had to.  After the Peace Corps experience, he traveled extensively in India and the Himalayas.  He and I went to school together from 6th grade until we graduated from USC in 1967.  He was my longest-lived friend.  He wrote several books that were never published about his exploits in Mexico and South America.  I have no idea who has the manuscripts of those books, but presume his daughter or brother Rick knows the disposition of them.

Remembered by Frank "Buddy" Bates  (

[from the obituary in the Athens, Ohio newspaper]

Thomas J. Barnet, age 67, of Millfield, passed away Tuesday morning, September 4, 2012 at O'Bleness Hospital after a struggle with cancer. He was born March 4, 1945 in Los Angeles, California. He was the son of the late Kathryn and James Barnet.
He graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in anthropology and he was an active member of the varsity swim team. Thomas served in the Peace Corps in El Salvador and was a teacher for the Vista program in Texas before heading out on his famous adventures in India and Afghanistan.
Thomas is survived by his older brother Rick, his half-brother William, and his daughter Neola.
He settled in the Athens area in the spring of 1974, first farming and then teaching at the White Oak School near Amesville.  After further travels in Latin America, he returned to Millfield, where he resumed his teaching, storytelling, tutoring and farming.
A born outdoorsman, Thomas was a long walker and a long talker. He hiked often with the Multigenerational Appalachian Woodland Explorers. He remained active in conservation, focusing on numerous environmental efforts and achievements. Thomas is remembered for his cheerful enthusiasm.
A memorial service was held at the Quaker Meeting House, 22 Birge Dr., Chauncy, Ohio, from 2-4 p.m. on September 22, 2012.

Tom J. Barnet

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Education & Work

Graduated from USC in Anthropology and Spanish and had a Master's Degree in Education from a school in New Mexico.
teacher, conservationist


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