Loomis loses a patron of local history in Barnes

Longtime resident with deep ties was an advocate for the town's local lore
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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Loomis lost a member of one of its pioneer families when Alice May Rippey Barnes died Jan. 29, 2011 at the age of 76. Barnes was a founding member and president of the Loomis Basin Historical Society and in earlier years was involved in school and community clubs and projects. Loomis Mayor Rhonda Morillas was a longtime friend. The two traveled together throughout the state when they were both involved in Eastern Star. One story Barnes told on the trips was about meeting Wayne Newton in Las Vegas, before he was famous and a big star. Barnes and her first husband, Ronald Sanford, who died in 1972, ran a jewelry story in Nevada when Newton was a young man, trying to earn a living by singing on the street in front of the store. Morillas and Barnes were also teammates on the Nelthorpe & Son Night Owls softball team. They played in the Loomis Slow Pitch baseball league, from the mid-1970s to about 1985, Morillas said. “Alice was our pitcher the whole time,” Morillas said. She had a good high ball … she struck out a lot of players.” Historian and Loomis Library manager Beth Enright said Barnes was dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the Loomis Basin. Her goal, said Enright, was to get the history of the area on paper, so that there were records for future generations. She assisted in procuring a plaque that showed when the Trans Continental Railroad came through Loomis. She also contributed greatly to the photographs included in “Loomis: Images of America,” published in 2009 by the historical society. She and her husband, Wes, spearheaded and assisted in the building and maintenance of the memorial garden area located between Nelthorpe’s and the Wells Fargo bank. The area honors Percy Lanouettte, Fred Hamburg, John Boyington, Dr. P.D. Barnes, and Hiroshi “Doc” Takemoto. Enright said Barnes and her family have always made a significant impact on Loomis. “Her grandmother Lulu Rippey, was one of the volunteers for the Red Cross in 1918, assisting with knitting socks and blankets for soldiers in World War I. Her grandfather, E.L. Rippey, was a local fruit rancher and manager of the Loomis Fruit Growers Association from May 1, 1903 to 1919.” Barnes’ father, Ed, owned Rippey’s Marine in Loomis. Her mother, Anne, was floor lady for the Loomis Fruit Growers Association and worked at Main Drug Store for 40 years. Barnes continued the family tradition of working in the fruit industry as she packed fruit in the LFGA High Hand packing shed in the early 1950s and later worked in the office, said Lorene Owen, also a former LFGA employee. Barnes graduated from Placer High School in Auburn and later attended Placer Junior College in Auburn. She also belonged to Rainbow for Girls in Auburn. Barnes was a third-generation member of Penrhyn Chapter Order of Eastern Star #159. She was a 57-year member of Penrhyn Chapter and Worthy Matron. Her husband, Wes, served as Worthy Patron with her. Her grandmother was Worthy Matron in 1920 and her parents also served as Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron of the organization. Ed Horton, a former Loomis Fire District Chief, remembers that Barnes was a dedicated San Francisco 49ers fan who frequently took bus trips to the games. Her husband, Wes, was also a volunteer fireman. “She was always so generous with her time and always gave to the Fire Department as a firefighter’s wife and member of the Fire Department Auxiliary,” Horton said. Except for the period when she lived in Las Vegas, Barnes was a lifelong resident of the Loomis Basin. In addition to her daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Rick Stafford and their children of Lincoln, Mrs. Barnes is survived by her husband, Wes, and stepson, Wesley, of Loomis; and stepdaughters, Mary Smith and her husband, Jim, of Sacramento, and Ann Rosado and her husband, Ed, of Illinois. She is also survived by five grandchildren and her sister, Anne Lee Acevedo and her children. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at the Newcastle District Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Penryn Masonic Lodge.