Elaine Dolores Beatty Barnett

Elaine Barnett, 92, a longtime resident of Cashiers, died on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017 from complications of cancer.

The daughter of Sam and Ann Lewis Beatty, she was born in Youngstown, Ohio on April 8, 1925. She was the first in her family to attend college, at Miami University in Miami, Ohio, where she met her future husband, Dick Barnett.

Starting before she was old enough to go into the clubs without her mother present, she was a professional night club singer who also cut a record with Tommy Dorsey. 

She married Richard Graham Barnett of Cleveland, Ohio on Jan. 20, 1944; he was then an ensign in the U.S. Navy, and shortly after their marriage, he went to war.  He was assigned as a communications officer onboard the USS Montpelier, CL-57, a light cruiser which saw extensive combat while he was aboard, including supporting island invasions and enduring attack by kamikaze suicide bombing aircraft. He was on duty when word came that the Japanese had surrendered. His ship also served with the occupation force in Japan after their surrender.

He returned home in 1946 to complete his education.

The couple settled in Cleveland where they adopted two children, Ned Beatty Barnett (1951) and Kim Luann Barnett Shealy (1954). Elaine served with Dick on the board of the family-owned business.

Along with Dick, she helped singer Natalie Cole, daughter of jazz great Nat King Cole, to set up a business in Europe. Elaine and her husband Dick were active golfers and passionate bridge players all their lives.

Following their retirement, they settled into their home in Country Club Estates in Cashiers, but traveled the world, golfing at some of the most prestigious and challenging courses. They became personal friends with several golf greats, including Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, and also golfed and socialized with country music legend Eddy Arnold.

Elaine donated significant time to mostly hospital-based charities for as long as her health permitted it. 

Elaine and Dick Barnett are survived by their children, Ned and Kim; their grandchildren, Michael, Emily Shealy Ergle and Abigail Shealy; six great-grandchildren, Evelyn, Dylan and Kathryn Barnett; Lyla Shealy, and Preston and Emma Ergle; as well as by nephews Richard, William and Thomas Ness.

Born and raised Catholic, upon marrying Dick Barnett, who was not a Catholic, she began attending an Episcopal Church, and included her children in that attendance. When she died, she regularly attended Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd Church in Cashiers and St. Jude’s Catholic Church in nearby Sapphire Valley.

A celebration of the life of Elaine Barnett is planned for 4-6 p.m. Saturday, June 9 at Country Club of Sapphire Valley. All friends and family of Elaine are invited to attend and share memories and good times shared with her. Please RSVP to Sheraldean Norris at snorris@cashierslaw.com.



Crossroads Chronicle

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1040
94 U.S. Highway 64 West, Suite 1 (Shoppes on the Green)
Cashiers, NC 28717
Phone: 828-743-5101
Fax: 828-743-4173