John Thomas Barnes II, 64, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 12, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana surrounded by family.
Son of Dr. Claude James Barnes (Jimmie) and Josefa Rodriguez Barnes (Fefi), he grew up in the town of Milton, Florida, where he graduated from Milton High School in 1972. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Tulane University. During his time at Tulane he became involved in stage design, especially focusing in lighting and sound, working on productions at Tulane’s Summer Lyric Theatre and touring with the Tulanians from 1975 to 1977.
He worked for McDermott International for 36 years, launching his career with J. Ray McDermott in the fabrication yards around South Louisiana, where he had a knack for shaking things up. In 1985 he became a business development engineer working on joint venture projects in the Former Soviet Union, where he continued to shake things up. He subsequently became the General Manager of the McDermott International office in Moscow, Russia from 1992 to 1997 where he oversaw business development activities in the Former Soviet Union as the liaison to the Russian Government, which enabled him to really shake things up. John returned to shaking things up at the New Orleans office until it closed in 2013 when he retired from McDermott and briefly shook things up at the American Bureau of Shipping as an Engineer. He ultimately stopped shaking things so much when he retired fully in 2015.
John had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. This led him to have a variety of hobbies including woodworking, leatherworking, stained glass, sewing, jewelry making, and breaking and fixing anything electronic (possibly on purpose). His demeanor and sense of humor were unforgettable to anyone who met him, especially his contagious belly laugh. Through his love of cooking and good company, visitors often instantly became family. He never refused a guest into his home, and he never met a stranger.
John became a beacon of resiliency and strength after undergoing a heart transplant in 1997 and fighting through many medical setbacks.
He is survived by his wife, Khue Mai Le; his brothers: James A. Barnes, Mark C. Barnes and Gregory P. Barnes; sister, Madeleine Reese; former spouse and the mother of his children, Patricia Poe Van Cleave; his children, James Douglas Barnes and David Allen Barnes; stepchildren, Nicklas Dang and Alexander Dang; three granddaughters, and nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Rosary will be said around 8:30 a.m., visitation will be from 9:00 until funeral mass at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, July 20, 2019, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Milton, FL followed by graveside service at the Milton Cemetery.
Trahan Funeral Home, Milton, FL, and Lake Lawn Funeral Home, Metairie, LA, have been entrusted with arrangements.