Edgar F. Barnett passed away peacefully in his home in Houston on July 27, 2014 in the company of his wife Gerry and stepdaughter Jennifer. |
Ed was born January 21, 1932 in Blytheville, AR to Edgar and Lucetta Barnett and grew up with sisters Jane and Ann in southern Louisiana. His passion for all things purple and gold began when he entered Louisiana State University Lab School in seventh grade. There was no question where he would attend college, and he joined the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity on campus where he was given the nickname Easy Ed for his good nature. After earning his bachelor of science degree from the College of Commerce, Ed accepted a commission in the US Army and served his country as a forward observer during the Korean conflict.
Upon honorable discharge from the army, Ed moved to San Antonio to work in the insurance business but started law school at night at St. Mary's. After finishing first in three courses, he returned to Tiger country. Ed graduated from the Law Center at LSU in February 1958. In October of that year, he moved his daughter Jana and son Lake to Lake Charles where Ed began a distinguished career in maritime law, highlights of which include filing briefs with both the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court. He was known by colleagues as a lawyer's lawyer. In later years, he practiced law in Houston and reluctantly retired in 2007. Even after retiring, he eschewed reading fiction in favor of remaining up-to-date with legal advance sheets for some years.
Ed put his whole heart into the people and things he loved. He and Gerry married in 1979 and were lucky enough to spend 35 happy years together. He was an avid fan of LSU football and baseball, and his most fervent wish in the end was to survive to see the first football game of the season. Ed had a beautiful tenor voice and a song for every single occasion. Even in his last days as his voice failed him, he could be heard humming. He was always ready with a good joke and the perfect accent to bring the punchline home.
Ed was a good and honorable man, blessed with close friends. Even though it took him years to even approach an ATM, he courageously learned to use an iPad which brought him closer to many old friends. He enjoyed reconnecting and was grateful for the visits of his favorite people in his final weeks.
A memorial service will be held Friday, August 1 at 1:00 p.m. in the Chapel at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston, TX.
Ed was very pleased to learn that his family established the Edgar F. Barnett Memorial Endowed Scholarship at the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center to assist second- and third-year law students. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the LSU Law Foundation, Edgar F. Barnett Memorial Endowed Scholarship and sent to:
LSU Law Center
110 LSU Union Bldg.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Published in Houston Chronicle on July 30, 2014