Kathleen Antoinette Barnett, a long time Mercer Island resident, passed away peacefully on August 5, 2017 at age 92.
She was born in Flaxville, MT April 15, 1925 to Leo and Antonia Cossette. She graduated high school in Flaxville and later moved to Spokane to be with her older siblings.
While in Spokane she met and went on to marry Kendrick Jay (Kink, KJ) Barnett in 1954 and were married until Kink’s death in 1985. Kathleen and Kink raised 5 children together.
From the early 1960s Kathleen was extremely active in advocacy for individuals with developmental disabilities including deinstitutionalization, early childhood education, access to public education for all as well as fair and respectful treatment of individuals in medical social and religious settings. She lobbied lawmakers in Washington state and Washington DC and was appointed chairperson for the Developmental Disabilities Council in Washington state by Governor Dixie Lee Ray. This work was done on a volunteer basis which she did while raising her children and supporting Kink in his business. She enjoyed gardening, cooking and travelling
Kathleen is predeceased by her husband Kendrick Jay Barnett and her son Brett Barnett.
She is survived by her children Barclay Barnett of Hailey, ID; Denise Angel (Marc) of Sammamish; Celeste Stubner (Jamie) of West Seattle; Nanette Fricke (Steve) of Bellevue. Surviving grandchildren are Samantha and Alexandra Angel, Caitlin and Carly Stubner and Stefan and Cossette Fricke.
Donations in Kathleen’s memory may be made to Special Olympics Washington.