Former WCBA president dies at 87

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Glynn ("Barney") Barnett died Aug. 16 in Ann Arbor. Known as a "Lawyer's Lawyer," for his ethics, expertise and good judgment, Barnett practiced law in Ann Arbor for more than 50 years.

A native of Harrisburg Ill., Barnett grew up in Pontiac and was a graduate of Pontiac High School.

He received a bachelor's degree in music, and a law degree from The University of Michigan Law School in 1957.

He was a member of the Michigan Marching Band, participating in the 1948 Rose Bowl, when the Wolverines beat the USC Trojans.

Barnett was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy serving aboard a minesweeper and a destroyer during the Korean conflict, and retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

After beginning his legal career with Consumers Power, Barnett returned to Ann Arbor in 1960, working in private practice until 2012. He initially partnered with his friend John Hathaway, and was later a member of the firm Shankland, Hiller, McCormick, Barnett and Creal.

Barnett served as president of the Washtenaw County Bar Association 1978-79. He was the first chairman of the WCBA Legal Aid committee and the Initial Incorporator of the Washtenaw County Legal Aid Society, a member of National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, and a member of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan. He was a pro bono attorney for The Disabled American Veterans and the Second Baptist Church of Ann Arbor, and served on the Juvenile Court Citizens Advisory Council of Washtenaw County.

He served on the Board of Supervisors for Washtenaw County, and the Washtenaw County Board of Canvassers. He was Chairman of the Washtenaw County Social Services Board, a member of the Board of Ann Arbor Y, the Director of U of M Band Alumni Association, and a member of Alumni Board of the National Music Camp at Interlochen.

He was president of the Huron Valley Council Navy League of the United States, and the Commanding Officer, of the U.S. Naval Reserve Surface Division 9-999.

Barnett was married to Nancy Symmonds Barnett for nearly 43 years until her death in 1998. In 2000 he married Mary Rinne Barnett and she survives.

He also is survived by his sister Ann (Roland) Williams of Ohio; his four children, Jeffrey (Kathy) of Ann Arbor; Amy (Arthur Furukawa) of Seattle; David (Lisa), of Bangor, Me.; and Paul (Michelle), of Ann Arbor; as well as stepchildren Melissa Rinne (Tomo Okada), of Kyoto, Japan; and John David Rinne, of Ann Arbor; and grandchildren Grace, Samuel, and Emma Barnett, Diana and Julia Furukawa, Charles and Edwin Barnett; and Marie Okada.

Donations can be made to the Nichols Arboretum at http://victo.rs/2bD3kwr, 734-647-7600.

A celebration of Barnett's life will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, at the Ann Arbor City Club, 1830 Washtenaw Avenue.

Published: Mon, Sep 12, 2016

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