Bernice May Barnes, 88, of Auburn, died at home on Sun Sept 29 after a
2-month battle with cancer.
Bernice was born in 1925, the youngest child of Fred and Edna
Rechenmacher. As a young girl she showed a great aptitude for dance and
acrobatics. After graduating from Placer High School in 1943 she
traveled to New York City to continue her dance training at the School
of American Ballet. Three years later she signed a contract with the
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, the premiere ballet company in the US at
the time. She worked with renowned choreographer George Balanchine,
performing in both new and classical ballets. As a member of the Ballet
Russe, Bernice spent 10 months of each year touring across the US and
Canada by rail, performing in a different city almost every night.
In 1950, while visiting her parents, Bernice met Walter Barnes, the love
of her life. They married in 1950 and Bernice left behind her life as a
ballet dancer. They spent the following years building their house.
Bernice was an accomplished gardener, filling her yard with azaleas and
many other flowering plants. Bernice is survived by her brother Richie
Rechenmacher of Reno, NV, her husband of 63 years Walter Barnes of
Auburn, CA, her son Terry Barnes and granddaughters Sarah and Michelle
of Redwood City, CA.
There will be no funeral or visitation. In lieu of flowers, you can make
a donation to a charity in Bernice's name.