WHS '59 - Hall of Fame Honoree

Steve Barnett, engaged citizen, former NCAA wrestling champion, University of Oregon Duck, Chicago Bears NFL football player, and Rotarian passed away peacefully at his home in Danville, California on Tuesday, January 2. He was 76. The cause was congestive heart failure.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Lynn, his children Kelli Smith (Brant) and Elizabeth Barnett (Will) and his sisters Linda Swiger and Stephanie Barnett.
Steve was born in Sand Springs Oklahoma and came to Fremont California in 1950. He was a gifted athlete and became one of that city’s most famous sports figures. While at Washington High School in the late 1950’s, he played on Coach Bill Walsh’s winning football team. The two created the famous “refrigerator play” where Steve, the offensive tackle, ran for touchdowns. Steve was also a champion high school and college wrestler and was awarded athlete-scholar-citizen awards in both high school and college.
While at the University of Oregon he was both a First Team Academic All-American and First Team Football All-American, voted All Conference three times, tapped for the Honor Society of Friars, recipient of the Emerald Athletic Trophy, elected to the University’s Senate, and played in the Hula Bowl, Liberty Bowl and East West Shrine Game. As an All-American, Steve met President John F. Kennedy, who asked him to play on his Hyannis Port football team. Steve was inducted in the State of Oregon’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and into the University of Oregon’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
In 1963, the Chicago Bears selected Steve in the second round of the NFL Draft. That was the year the Bears won the Super Bowl, then known as the World Championship. Steve also played for the Washington Redskins for one year.
Back in Fremont, Steve joined Sunnyvale’s Barnes Hind Pharmaceutical Company as a sales manager. After his retirement, he made the Bay Area community’s life richer with his many volunteer activities. Notably the Niles Rotary Club, in which he was an active member and Club President. Steve mediated landlord tenant disputes for Alameda County. He was a member of the Contra Costa County Grand Jury that published an influential report on cleaning up the San Joaquin delta. He also worked with the Danville Police Department as a “VIP” (Volunteer in Policing) and, in 2014, was awarded “Volunteer of the Year.”
As a minister for 33 years, Steve has married many couples and they all cited his warmth and his open heartedness as the thing that made the ceremony special.
Steve will be greatly missed by family and friends. He managed to look like the Mayor of every city he happened to be in with his handsome shock of white hair, his penetrating blue eyes and his commanding voice and presence. His kindness in the community is legend and he rushed to help those in need and was always there to listen and to assist. He was also known for his sense of humor and the heartiest and most heartfelt of laughs. He loved to play bridge, bocci ball, and just about any other game. Playing cards with him was an adventure all in itself.
Steve was known as “Captain” to all the young people in his life; “The Bear” at the University of Oregon; “Partner” at the Bridge table;” Steverino” in his amateur theater group; Daddy-O at home; and My Friend to so many.
Like Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers, Steve never lost a game. He just ran out of time.

A memorial service and reception to honor Steve Barnett’s life will take place on Sunday, January 28 at 1:00 p.m. at the Round Hill Country Club, 3169 Roundhill Road, Alamo, 94507, Telephone: (925) 934-8211. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Steve & Lynn Barnett Scholarship c/o Fremont Bank 210A Railroad Avenue, Danville, CA 94526. The Steve & Lynn Barnett Scholarship funds scholastic pursuits for Washington High School students who are outstanding athlete-scholar-citizens.

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WHS '71 - Founding Member of the Alumni Foundation

Entered into rest on February 14, 2018 at the age of 65. Loving husband to Mary Robertson of Danville and stepfather to Ryan Burgess (Nicole) of Rocklin. Cherished son to Billie Jacinto of Fremont. Beloved brother to Terry Jacinto of Sacramento, Karen Jacinto of Fremont, Denise Jacinto of Fremont, Sandra and John Winslow of VA, and Suzanne Jacinto of Fremont. Treasured uncle to Michael, Patricia (Richard), Alexis, Mandee, Jessica, Kyle, Nicole, and Kelly. Proud great-uncle to Tyler, Bailey, Cain, Benjamin, Delilah, Brianna, Alexa, Brandon, Aiden, and Dylen. Cherished brother-in-law to Mike Robertson (Sheila) and son-in-law to Emma Robertson. Predeceased by his beloved father Jess Jacinto in 2008.
Born January 20, 1953 in San Jose, Mike grew up in Fremont and graduated from Washington High School in 1971. He was an excellent student and highly decorated three sport athlete, lettering in football, baseball, and soccer, and was named the 1970-71 MVAL Athlete of the Year. Later, a devoted and active alumnus, he was the founding member of the Washington High School Alumni Foundation. He went on to play quarterback for Cal State Hayward and was recognized for his successes when he was inducted in the school’s Hall of Fame in 1988. Mike’s lifelong passion for sports—namely the Giants and the 49ers—and commitment to the lessons he learned on the field were a driving force in his life.
Mike was a highly accomplished and respected businessman—first as a successful realtor having won the Bay East REALTOR® of the Year Award in 1988 and then as a business owner, founding the Jacinto Mortgage Group nearly 30 years ago. In addition to earning several leadership awards, he served many years on the Bay East Board of Directors prior to being elected as President in 1990. He also served on the California Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors. He was respected by all who knew him for his dedication to his work, clients, colleagues, and the East Bay communities he served.
Mike was a committed family man, a loyal friend, a decorated athlete, a leader in his community, and an honorable, devoted businessman. He will be missed beyond measure.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Washington High School Alumni Foundation.

Doug Ely

Class of 1971

Doug Ely ’71 passed away in December after complications of kidney transplant surgery. Doug was most recently the Vice President of the Alumni Foundation. He made monthly trips from his home in Southern California to WHS to attend the Board meetings. He was instrumental in developing the WHSAF website, email communications and the Woodcock and Brower Memorial Scholarships.  

Doug moved to Fremont when he was 10 years old, attending Glenmoor Elementary, Centerville Junior High before graduating from Washington in 1971. Doug was the editor of the yearbook in his senior year. After, WHS, he graduated from Pacific Lutheran University In Washington, where he met his wife, Gretchen.  They married in 1977.  They lived in San Jose and Fremont until moving to Southern California in 1994.

Doug is survived by his wife, Gretchen, son Michael, daughter Erika (Mike) Chico, grandsons Jack and Evan and sister Eleanor (Chris) McGuire – WHS ‘74.

Doug’s name has been added to the Fred Brower Memorial Journalism-Publications Scholarship. The family requests memorial gifts are directed there.