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“She truly was a remarkable person… This is absolutely devastating for the community.
“She was the type of person who didn’t sit on a board because she thought it was cool to say she sat on such and such a board. She actually would come with good ideas and you could always rely on her to follow through on any kind of tasks she agreed to take on.”
And her mentoring was not just done from afar. Barnett would not hesitate to get involved and lend not just a professional hand but also a personal touch to those she believed in.
Behind the Grind owner Chris Quinlan’s coffee shop dreams came true in large part because of Barnett’s leadership and support.
“Everything is all connected to Kathy,” said Quinlan.
“I’ve been thinking about all the things we do because of Kathy, and when Kathy asks can you help, you help because you know it is right. Her spirit will always drive us. It will never ever cease.
“Despair is an appropriate word for how I feel because there is now a hole that just doesn’t fill itself in.”
And when Quinlan was ready to buy Barnett out at Behind The Grind, it was all about the success he had found.
“Her biggest joy was seeing success for other people,” he said.
That joy, said long-time friend Dave Davenport, could be seen most clearly when Barnett was with her husband.
“The most important thing to her was Bob. That’s what made her happy. All that mattered to her was Bob and if Bob was happy she was happy.
“For us in the community she was an icon. She gave so much behind the scenes. You can’t ignore what the Pique has done and what it is.”
Pique’s executive director Darren Roberts said the paper’s team is committed to upholding Barnett’s vision.
“This was Kathy’s baby and her dream,” he said.
“ Pique Newsmagazine will carry on forever, it will grow and
prosper and for all of the thousands of hours that Kathy and I spent together
discussing and fine tuning ideas and concepts...It is this information that
will be carried to the future and help to mould the paper.
“Her presence will live on as Pique becomes even stronger.”
A fair but forceful boss, Barnett was always ready to
introduce changes that would lead to a stronger and more relevant publication,