Bernice May Barnes, 88, of Auburn, died at home on Sunday, September 29, 2013 after a two month battle with cancer.
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Bernice was born in 1925, the youngest child of Fred and Edna Rechenmacher. As a young girl she showed a great aptitude for dance and acrobatics. After graduating from Placer High School in 1943 she traveled to New York City to continue her dance training at the School of American Ballet. Three years later she signed a contract with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, the premiere ballet company in the US at the time. She worked with renowned choreographer George Balanchine, performing in both new and classical ballets. As a member of the Ballet Russe, Bernice spent 10 months of each year touring across the US and Canada by rail, performing in a different city almost every night.
In 1950, while visiting her parents, Bernice met Walter Barnes, the love of her life. They married in 1950 and Bernice left behind her life as a ballet dancer. They spent the following years building their house. Bernice was an accomplished gardener, filling her yard with azaleas and many other flowering plants. Bernice is survived by her brother Richie Rechenmacher of Reno, Nev., her husband of 63 years Walter Barnes of Auburn, Calif., her son Terry Barnes and granddaughters Sarah and Michelle of Redwood City, Calif.
There will be no funeral or visitation. In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation to a charity in Bernice's name.
Published in Auburn Journal from Oct. 4 to Nov. 3, 2013