IN MEMORIAM: William J. Barnds '56

BarndsThe Rev. William Joseph Barnds, Class of 1956, died peacefully at his home on October 4, 2015. Born August 20, 1931, he entered The General Theological Seminary after earning both a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska. Barnds served several churches in the Diocese of Nebraska, including St. Timothy’s in Gering from 1967-1993. From 1993-1998 he served Saint Mary’s in the Highlands, Cold Spring, New York. In 1998 he was called to Grace Episcopal in Galesburg, Illinois, where he served until 2003. In his retirement Barnds continued to serve as a vicar of St. John’s Preemption, Illinois. During his career, he never once missed celebrating the Eucharist on Sunday morning.

Barnds was an active member of each community in which he lived and served. He was a board member for many service and civic organizations, instrumental in the establishment of The House of Transfiguration Diocesan Retreat Center in Bayard, Nebraska, and was an influential member in establishing Northfield Villa in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

As a member of the Galesburg community he was a member of the Lions Club and was a board member for the Galesburg Symphony and library. More recently in his retirement, he took great pride in representing his alma mater, the University of Nebraska, at the inauguration of the president of Knox College.

Barnds was a voracious reader, loved history, enjoyed keeping apprised of news and politics, had a very dry sense of humor, and enjoyed classical and vocal music. He leaves behind his wife, Deanna (Gustafson) Barnds, with whom he celebrated 51 years of marriage this past June; along with his two children, and three grandchildren.

A funeral was held at Grace Anglican Church on October 10, 2015. Online condolences may be made at