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Published January 31st, 2024
Cecil "Chip" Barnes IV
July 18, 1947 - Jan. 4, 2024

Cecil "Chip" Barnes 76, passed away peacefully, Thursday Jan. 4, after a courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by his wife Jacqueline, son Cecil "Chris" and his sister Marni. He was born in Chicago Illinois in 1947, the oldest of three children of Loretta Van Rie Barnes and Cecil Barnes III. As a young child his family moved to California and Chip spent most of his life in the Bay Area.
On Nov. 12, 1983, Chip married Jacqueline Margaret Hocking in England. Together they lived in San Francisco where their sons were born. In 1992 the family moved to Moraga, California, which Chip called home for the last 32 years. Chip treasured family gatherings, especially the holidays where his love of family was so evident.
From an early age Chip became involved in theater. He found his calling backstage at the Palo Alto Children's Theater, demonstrating an aptitude for creative lighting design and discovering a joy that he would carry with him throughout his life. He was the lighting director and board operator at the theater for the better part of a decade and it is also where he made some of his closest life-long friends.
In 1970, Chip graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Bailey College of Science and Mathematics. He was at the forefront of the emerging wave of computer technology. From there he traded his "hippie beads" for a necktie and went to work at Stanford Research Institute. One day he was informed that the mathematical problems that he was working on were more than theoretical, they were aimed at improving the bombing ranges in Vietnam. After realizing the nature of the work he was doing, he became disillusioned and left the job. Chip went on to have a creative and rewarding career in computer engineering, software programming and systems analysis, including helping Bank of America pioneer their first ATM and online banking platform. Over the years he received many accolades for his ingenious solutions to complicated problems and his patient ability to explain complex processes in an accessible manner.
His open-mindedness and search for understanding led him to travel widely and to learn from every place and every person that he encountered along his path. He was always willing to try something new and wanted to discover things for himself. Chip earned his solo pilot license to fly small planes, was a certified scuba diver and raced his Shields class sailboat in the bay as an active member at the Sausalito Yacht Club. Later in life he was a regular at Burning Man where he loved mixing with the varied types of people who gravitated to that creative utopian experiment. It was there that he also found an appreciative audience for his "Gobbling Heads" computer art animation, an endlessly repeating randomized display that delights in its simplicity and ridiculousness. Chip was also an enthusiastic amateur photographer who always carried his camera with him on his adventures. Two exhibitions of his photographs were staged at the Moraga library as part of their rotating artist series.
Chip was a man who led with his heart and his family was the center of his orbit. He was an amazing husband, father, and brother. He retained lifelong friends and was always eagerly planning trips to go off-roading, biking, camping, or fiddle with electronics. Chip really loved watching his son Cecil "Chris" play Varsity Soccer for Miramonte High School. Chip took it upon himself to film the 2004-2005 season when the team won the DFAL Championship and in 2005-2006 when the team rose to win the NCS Championship. Chip enthusiastically documented the team's accomplishments, one of the many ways which demonstrates his dedication to his family and community. Every morning Chip enjoyed a cup of coffee with his friends at SiSi Caffe in Moraga where he was a loyal customer ever since their opening 25 years ago.
He was curious and adventurous from the get go and many people, friends and strangers alike, were the blessed recipients of his attentive and loving nature. He is survived by his wife of forty years, Jacqueline Barnes, their son Cecil "Chris" Barnes V, his daughter in law Angelica Giannoulatou-Destouni and his sister Marni Barnes. He was preceded in death by his son James and sister Melanie.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations in Chip's honor to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
A memorial will take place in Palo Alto on Saturday April 6, 2024, for information please call Marni at 650-326-6866.

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