Age 20, of Aspinwall and Mount Washington, died recently at the University of Chicago, where he was a third-year student. He will be remembered as a warm and loving friend, a lively debater, a dedicated scholar and an adventurous traveler. Nick was born on May 25, 1993. He reveled in the freedom of being homeschooled through eighth grade, and especially loved outings to the Carnegie Library and Museums of Art and Natural History. He was a Class of 2011 graduate of Shady Side Academy in Fox Chapel, a place he adored and where he lettered in cross country, started a cricket club, and rather disliked playing on the hockey team as he was a self-described pacifist. Nick was an enthusiastic Library Associate and English Associate, a thoughtful editor and creative graphic designer of the Egerian and Angles literary publications, and president of the German club. He enjoyed Speech and Debate team, performed in The Importance of Being Earnest, delighted in seeing his cartoons in the school newspaper and excelled at his studies. At the University of Chicago, Nick was pursuing a double major in Germanic studies and History. The regard of his professors and friends may be seen in this link to his University of Chicago obituary: http://news.uchicago. edu/article/2014/02/24/nicholas-barnes-third-year-college-student-1993-2014. Nick was preparing to return to Germany during summer term, to pursue his studies and conduct research toward his graduation requirements in the following year. He felt deeply honored to attend the University of Chicago and greatly enjoyed his time there. He was a distinctive figure on campus and loved the blustery winter weather, striding in his long woolen coat, signature red Converse high-tops and large blue and white muffler, which, as he liked to note, had been knit by authentic Latvian grandmothers. Among his wide circle of friends, Nick was known for his intellectual drive, his exceptional wit, his love of knowledge, his droll sense of humor, and his ease in his own skin. The temporal brevity of Nick's life is in direct contrast to the enormous breadth of adventures, travels and interests he pursued. This Laurence Sterne quote describes him well: "What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life, by him who interests his heart in everything, and who, having eyes to see what time and chance are perpetually holding out to him as he journeyeth on his way, misses nothing he can fairly lay his hands on." -A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. Nick will be forever loved and held within the hearts and minds of his sister, Clara Barnes; his grandmother, Emily Brastins; his father, Jay Barnes; his mother, Laura Maynes (formerly Linda Brastins Barnes); his stepfather, Greg Maynes; his stepbrother, Bill Maynes; and many more dear family members and friends. A memorial gathering is planned for the spring. Donations in his memory may be made to http://www.DonationTo.com/Nicholas-Brastins-Barnes. Our hope is to fund and endow a Nicholas Brastins Barnes Prize to be awarded annually at Shady Side Academy's Prize Day, so that Nick's bright spirit and curious mind might continue to positively influence other young scholars.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Mar. 21 to Mar. 23, 2014