Lavinia Barnes
1963 - 2021

Lavinia Barnes was born Lavinia Hendrick to Beulah and Jerome Hendrick on October 4, 1963 in East Orange, New Jersey. She spent most of her childhood in Piscataway and New Brunswick, New Jersey with her seven siblings, Caralyon Jenkins, Mecky Hendrick, Audrey Hendrick, Gwendilena Debnam, Rochelle Thompson, Christopher Hendrick, and Jerome Hendrick. One of Lavinia's fondest memories as a child were the times that she cuddled up with her mother listening to her talk to cousin Hellen McDaniel on the phone. Lavinia would laugh recalling how she copied Beulah saying "mmm hmm" to Hellen.

Lavinia graduated from East Orange High School. She attended Rutgers University and Bloomfield College. While at Rutgers, she met Cynthia Bynes, who remained a lifelong friend.

Lavinia married Kevin Barnes, with whom she had a daughter, Aliyyah Barnes (Slade). Though Lavinia was unable to have the several children that she always dreamed of, she gave her all to raising Aliyyah. As a mother, Lavinia taught Aliyyah to enjoy life no matter how little you have and to always find opportunities to make things better for yourself. Lavinia was thrilled when Aliyyah later married Todd Slade, the son-in-law she always hoped for.

After her divorce, Lavinia worked in several occupational fields in order to spend as much time with her daughter as possible while raising her. Some of Lavinia's jobs included working as a bartender, cocktail waitress, telephone line installer, and computer technician. But what brought her the most joy was when she worked with children as a substitute teacher and special education teaching assistant.

Throughout her life, Lavinia lived in New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, and California before settling in Washington state. No matter where she lived, Lavinia made friends. She was known for her loud, contagious laugh and her long conversations. Lavinia enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, whether it was in person or over the phone. It was easy to spend two hours or more on the phone with her, but she especially always had time to catch up with her siblings, nieces, nephews, and friends on the East Coast.

Ever the extrovert, Lavinia always found the most joy in sharing her interests. Although she had the mysterious ability to win money on penny slots at the casinos, it was a skill that she unsuccessfully tried to teach others. An early and long-time fan of The Sims, Lavinia loved showing off the different ways she killed numerous sims after they bored her. Lavinia also enjoyed watching science fiction television shows and movies. She would always share recommendations on her latest Netflix and Tubi finds, which would usually be spot on. But most of all, Lavinia loved her grandchildren, Niya and Lucas Slade, with whom she would play with until exhaustion.

Lavinia died on September 4, 2021 after living with cancer for 16 years. Throughout that time, she showed bravery and strength, and celebrated all that she could in life. She will be remembered for being a funny and selfless grandmother, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. She will be missed by all who knew her.

October 4, 1963 - September 4, 2021
Published by The Herald (Everett) from Nov. 21 to Nov. 22, 2021.
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