Former City of Kent Parks Director Barney Wilson dies

First to lead department in 1969

  • Friday, June 28, 2019 5:09pm
  • News
Barney Wilson, COURTESY PHOTO

Barney Wilson, COURTESY PHOTO

Barney Wilson, the city of Kent’s first parks and recreation director, died on Wednesday.

He was a passionate visionary and dynamic leader in our community for 37 years, according to a city of Kent Parks and Recreation Department Facebook post on Friday. Wilson started as a shared King County/City of Kent employee in 1957 and became Kent’s first parks and recreation director in 1969 when the department achieved “official” department status through city ordinance.

Wilson’s tenure left a legacy that includes Kent Memorial Park, Russell Road/Hogan Park, the Kent Commons, the Kent Senior Center, miles of trails, numerous neighborhood and community parks, Riverbend Golf Complex, the Cultural Arts Division and Arts Commission, world-renowned Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks Park, along with awards and accolades for professional excellence.

To his family, Wilson was a loving husband, father, and grandpa who enjoyed boating, the sun in Arizona, taking care of his house at the beach, sharing a good joke and spending time with people he loved. To the city of Kent, the Kent Parks and Recreation Department, and the broader community of Park and Recreation professionals across the state and country, he will remain a legend forever, according to the Facebook post.

No age was listed for Wilson.

“This is incredibly sad,” said Zandria Michaud, a city of Kent Parks and Recreation Commission member, in a Facebook comment. “Barney Wilson had the foresight to invest in, preserve, and set aside an incredible amount of open space for Kent’s future generations. Kent would look very different if not for his vision of the Kent Parks system. Condolences to his friends and family.”

More in News

Kent teen receives four-year sentence for Officer Moreno’s murder

Garcia, 17, will be released when he turns 21 in 2023

Meridian Glen Park in Kent to get $30,000 upgrade

Grant from Disney, National Recreation and Park Association

Lunar party at the STEM Festival in Kent

City unveils lunar rover replica that will land in a renovated downtown park project

Kent School District’s credit rating outlook improves

Moody’s issues financial profile report

Kent man fatally shot in East Hill apartment identified

Daveon Robbins had criminal history; faced 2019 burglary charge

South King County housing crisis acutely hits the LGBTQ+ community

Group, local politicians to release report Nov. 15

Kent fatal shooting last week remains a mystery

20-year-old man dies at East Hill apartment complex

Most Read