'You will always have my heart'

December 19, 2005|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM


Kaitlyn Barrett grabbed her brother's skateboard, scooped his white helmet into her arms and ran outside.

Her brother, Jonathan Barnes, had promised to teach her to skate.

That was more than a month ago.

Sunday afternoon, Kaitlyn, 10, took the skateboard from under a large framed photograph of Barnes, surrounded by flower arrangements at Bast Funeral Home in Boonsboro.

Barnes, 17, died in a house fire Dec. 11, along with two other Washington County teenagers.

Jonathan's mother, Carole Barrett of Sharpsburg, sat near the photo of her son. A continuous line of family and friends - holding photos of Barnes, flowers and poinsettias - stood waiting to express their condolences and share stories. Barrett's husband, Robert, stood by her side for most of the afternoon, often putting his hand on her shoulder.


"He's definitely going to be missed," said Darian Harwood, a sophomore at Boonsboro High School, where Barnes was a senior.

Harwood and Barnes became close after Barnes began dating Taylor Guyer, also a sophomore, about one month ago.

"He was always so nice, and always so happy," she said.

Among the flower arrangements on display was one from Guyer, which read, "You will always have my heart."

Barrett said the two had been dating for a short time and were very happy.

"All he did was talk about her," she said of Guyer.

He also was close with and protective of his younger sisters, Kaitlyn and Brooke, and was a very considerate brother, said Barbara Steiner, Barnes' grandmother.

"He worried about everyone," she said. "He was so concerned about us all. He was my heart."

The night of the fire, Jonathan was leaving his home in Sharpsburg just before midnight. He saw his mother pulling into the driveway and got out of the car to say "goodbye" and "I love you" to her, said his uncle, Kevin Bern. "How many kids do you know who would do that? He was just a really awesome, good kid."

Becci Tremlett, Bern's fiance, said she was impressed by how many lives Barnes touched in just a short time.

"It's just so sad because you don't know how far he would have gone," she said.

Before moving to Sharpsburg from Montgomery County about two years ago, Barnes was afraid he wouldn't make many friends. Shortly after the move, Barnes was making trips to see his friends in Montgomery County.

"He used to come visit us when he was sad or lonely," said Anais Eslami, 17, of Germantown, Md. "Then he started coming less. We were all sad, of course, but we were happy he was having fun with new friends."

It was the group of friends he'd had since middle school that introduced him to skateboarding - a sport that became his passion.

"He was a true skateboarder," Carole Barrett said. "He had the heart of a skateboarder."

Barnes was the last of his group to start skateboarding, but he quickly learned.

"As soon as he started, it was just what he did," said Ryan Nolan, 19, of Middletown, Md.

When Barnes moved to Sharpsburg, he tried to hide his fear from his friends, said Mike Civetti, 18, of Germantown.

"But anyone that knew him ... they knew he wouldn't have any trouble making friends," Nolan said. "We knew he wouldn't have any problems."

Like the students who knew him at Boonsboro, Meghan Gibson, 17, of Damascus, Md., said she remembers a lot of laughing and a lot of smiles with Barnes.

"There's no bad memory of him," she said.

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