A week ago, I got an email from an unfamiliar name. The woman, Lynn Sims, had been a caretaker for Judy Barnes, a 20-year Sunnyside resident. Barnes, who had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at a young age, had gone blind and needed help with various daily tasks. Sims wrote, “Of course I read her all her mail—and it was a favorite of hers to have me read the Sunnyside News. That’s how we found out about the Shower Program. Judy died June 11th, peacefully, with the help of Providence Hospice & End of Life Choices. As per her wishes I am making her donation and sending thanks for all your good work!” She then informed me that she had just made a $100 donation to the Sunnyside Shower Project.
Barnes, who had a BA in psychology from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, was an excellent cook and gardener who loved classical music and history. Despite being legally blind at age 27, she began work at the Department of Labor in Washington D.C. as a correspondence analyst. After working there ten years, Barnes became disabled due to her RA. She moved to California and then eventually to Portland. In the early 1990s, Judy worked vigorously in support of public power and clean energy futures by promoting Public Utility Districts (PUD) with a broad grassroots coalition. She supported many progressive causes. She is survived by her sisters, Rebecca Shircliff and Cecelia Barnes.
We are so incredibly touched by this generous donation and wanted to publicly acknowledge both Barnes, who loved Sunnyside, and her caretaker, Lynn Sims.