George William “Butch” Barnes, a longtime resident of Montclair, died on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, at Mountainside hospital. He was 77.

Mr. Barnes, “Butch” as he was known to family and friends, was a lifelong learner and took his hobbies to the highest level. 

One of his passions was photography. Following a few advanced classes, he did wedding photography on weekends. 

Mr. Barnes also became the family historian and joined the African American Genealogy Club in Montclair; he had an exhibit at the Montclair Library. 

His interest in cooking led him to take dessert baking classes at the Culinary Institute after work hours. He would bring home delicious cakes, pies and cookies.

Mr. Barnes was a food connoisseur; he enjoyed making dinners for his wife and mother. He liked going to supermarkets and would go to two or more to get the right ingredients. The Food Network was his favorite television channel.

He was a loyal friend: His favorite outing was breakfast or lunch with friends. He kept in touch with his Fisk University buddies through Saturday prayer meetings. He attended Montclair High School reunions and helped plan them.

Mr. Barnes believed in exercise, just not for him. He joined several gyms and would go once or twice. He made sure his wife exercised, playfully giving her a hard time if she missed gym classes or daily walks.

He is survived by his wife, Gwenda Mateo Barnes; sister, Carol Gregory; nieces and nephews Danita Puryear, Kimberly Gregory, Kaylan Moore and Brian Moore, Chris and Nicole Harris, Robin Santana and Che Alexander; an uncle, Joseph Barnes; an aunt, Alice Kee; a goddaughter, Kyla Gregory, and a large network of in-laws, cousins and friends.

He was predeceased by his parents, George Barnes and Ruth Kee Barnes.

Services were Jan. 8 at Woody Home for Services, 163 Oakwood Ave., Orange.

The family asks that he be remembered when you smile big, laugh loud, eat a great meal, help someone in need, learn new things and fully enjoy life.