Ms. Beverly Lynn Barnes, 62, of Washington, D.C., died on Jan. 16, 2021, at her sister’s house in Maryland of complications from ovarian cancer.
Beverly was the daughter of Elaine D. Barnes and the late S. Blumfield Barnes.
Beverly first came to the Shore in 2011, visiting with her friend David Martin who was considering moving permanently to the Shore. David and Beverly explored Cape Charles and then moved up the peninsula where they found and admired Onancock. David bought a house in Onancock and Beverly continued to visit over the years, sometimes accompanied by her mother, her sister, Karla Barnes, and her brother-in-law Kevin Moore, Karla’s husband.
Beverly came from a family of strivers whose distinguished accomplishments are all the more remarkable when considered in the contexts of time and race. The men in Beverly’s family became doctors, lawyers, ministers, real estate holders, and federal judges. The women, facing not only racial discrimination but also the limited expectations for women in those times, became librarians, real estate brokers, and educators who earned advanced college degrees.
After being graduated from Yale, Beverly began working as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and went on to a career in communications and marketing. Beverly served in the Clinton administration as chief of staff in the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Public Affairs and then in the White House as deputy assistant to the president/deputy press secretary and senior advisor to the White House chief of staff.
Her philanthropic career included work for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and many others. She started a public policy organization, Homes for Working Families, and founded her own firm, BeverlyBarnes Communications.
From the Shore, Beverly and her family visited Tangier Island, shopped at antique stores in various towns, and came to admire the Shore’s people, especially its artists. Beverly became a fan of the Charlotte Restaurant in Onancock and a close friend of Gary and Charlotte Cochran. She is missed by them, by her friend David, by her family, and by the dozens of friends she made while traveling the world. Beverly sat with silverback gorillas in Rwanda, climbed the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, admired Michelangelo’s David and other Renaissance masterpieces in Italy, navigated the Grand Canyon rim to rim, hiked the Great Wall in China, visited Uluru in Australia, and loved life the most when she was learning about other cultures on a trip.
She is survived by her mother, Elaine Barnes, originally of Atlantic City and now residing in Maryland; her sister Karla Barnes and brother-in-law Kevin Moore, of Maryland; and her cousins.
Beverly’s sister, Karla, plans to organize a celebration of Beverly’s life when the pandemic no longer restricts travel and gatherings.