In Memoriam: Debbie Barnes

April 24, 1952 – November 19, 2022

Debbie Barnes was born in Long Beach, California. Educated in public schools by a post war family that valued education, she was successful at high school, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of California, Berkeley. She received her PhD in Endocrinology at Berkeley, taught Anatomy and Physiology at Berkeley, Mills, California School of Podiatry, and finally at her favorite, Contra Costa College for 35 years. She was awarded the Honor Society Golden Apple award twice, and District Teacher of the Year while there. She taught generations of nurses and other health professionals. Debbie was able to travel extensively, enjoy making friends.

She was a wonderful mother, educator for elementary school when needed and encouraged our child to excel at academics and sports. She spent countless hours in car trips to games and meets. She demonstrated love and patience.

Debbie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2018 and her life saved by treatment and surgery at UCSF. She found Dr. Oliver Dorigo at Stanford in 2019 and was in essential remission from stage 4 until a routine scan in December 2021 demonstrated pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately she had too many metastases even after adjuvant chemotherapy. The oncology department was less than supportive, but she persevered. She decided that chemotherapy side effects were too much in August, and her symptoms progressed to where she suffered a great deal despite a robust hospice effort by Continuum Hospice of Concord. She had fought the battle and was getting no better. She maintained control to the end. A wish for all of us. With all my love Debbie, Bill. We thank all who loved her, and all who cared for her.

To donate in Debbie’s name to the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, use the form, below. You can donate by credit card,¬†below, or send a check donation to: Commonweal Cancer Help Program – Scholarship Fund, Commonweal, PO Box 316, Bolinas, CA, 94924 (please note on the check that the donation is in honor of Debbie Barnes).

Commonweal is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit, public benefit organization (tax I.D. #94-2366094). Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. We never share your personal or credit card information. Have questions or need help? Call us at 415-868-0970 or email us.












Please enter numbers only















Please click Submit only once. If you receive an error message, please send a note to erin@commonweal.org with a description of the problem. 
Please scroll up after submitting to see confirmation message. Thank you.