obituary header
Welcome to the memorial page for

John Anthony Barnwell

February 26, 1950 ~ December 5, 2017 (age 67)

Share using:         


Memorial Service
December 15, 2017

11:00 AM
5050 Federal Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92102




John Anthony Barnwell

                        ♪   A beloved musician, John Anthony Barnwell is remembered affectionately as Tony. Born to John and Ruth Barnwell on the south side of Chicago on February 26, 1950, his family relocated to San Bernardino, and then San Diego California where he lived most of his life. Tony began his formal career at age 16 forming his first band. As an adult, he traveled extensively and shared his love of music to all who would listen and enjoy. An accomplished pianist, arranger, band leader and videographer, Tony was artistic and had hobbies ranging from growing plants; oil and acrylic painting and silk screening, composing songs, acting to cooking his favorite Mexican foods.  In his spare time, he coached his son’s Little League team, created videos, flew kites, ate at his favorite restaurants and “Jammed” with local and great jazz musicians. 

            ♫      He followed in the footsteps of Barnwells from generations past, as an educated and well-read man and graduated from Clairemont High, received a BA and MA degrees from the University of California, San Diego. Bright beyond his years, Tony would excel in most fields effortlessly and create opportunities to entertain his school and neighborhood friends with pranks, jokes, dance, music and bravado undertakings. This sometimes eased the pain of racial discrimination, physical, verbal and emotional abuse he suffered. Tony’s strong suit was in forgiveness, re-framing sadness to mirth, and escaping to music as a comfort, an internal encouragement, and a spiritual balm. His Christian beliefs remained steadfast during good times and bad times.  Among the churches he worked at, St. Stephens COGIC was his favorite venue and place of worship. Married to Barbara Reyes-Barnwell, they have three wonderful children: Patricia Menezes, Cristinia Juneau and Antonio Reyes-Barnwell.  He is also survived by his siblings Andrea, Frederic, and Celestine Barnwell.  A host of grand children, nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family members remain to carry their favorite legends or memories of him as they forge their own way through this world.  Tony transitioned December 5, 2017 and will be missed, but is resting with his ancestors after an arduous and long “Gig” on earth.  ♪



© 2018 Anderson-Ragsdale Mortuary. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS