Former Kent Parks and Recreation Director Barney Wilson passed away on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, Kent Parks announced on Facebook on Friday, June 28.

Here’s more from the announcement:

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He was a passionate visionary and dynamic leader in our community for 37 years.

Barney 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.

His 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, Barney 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.