Ani N. Barnes, 95 years old, of Briarcliff Manor passed away peacefully on January 31, 2023 at Phelps Memorial Hospital. She is survived by her devoted husband of over 60 years, William T. Barnes. Ani was born in the Ukraine but headed west at the end of WWII to escape bread lines and Stalinism, serving for a time as an au pair in France before coming to the United States. She was fluent in five languages and loved to sing along in French to her favorite song “La Vie in Rose.”
Ani attended Columbia University, where she later served as a director of physical conditioning, one former student giving thanks to Ani for helping her “move like an elegant horse.” Ani climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, was an award-winning tango dancer, and taught aerobic and fitness classes into her eighties. She loved music and was an enthusiastic and dedicated student of the guitar.
Ani’s husband, Bill Barnes founder of the Clear View School, describes her as “emotionally open, a caregiver in the best sense of the word.” Ani loved to give hugs and to receive hugs. She acted as an elegant and warm hostess for the fundraising functions of Clear View School, and made the students feel special, warm, and loved. Ani also loved her dogs and cats, and her two abundant gardens, one in Briarcliff, NY and one in Weston, VT.
Ani loved to dress up, often winding jeweled necklaces into her Rapunzel-length braid of golden hair, and took great pleasure in discovering treasures at tag sales, auctions, and flea markets. She ate three heaping helpings at holiday dinners, drank the last drop from the liquor bottle for good luck, and thrilled to fireworks along the Hudson River. She was life affirming and positive even though she survived sadness and hardship.
The poet James Wright wrote: “To die a good death means to live one’s life. I don’t say a good life. I say a life.” Ani lived enough lives for all of us.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Clear View School (clearviewschool.org) and the SPCA Westchester (spcawestchester.org) are appreciated.
A Celebration of Life open house will be held on February 25, 2023, from 1 pm to 3 pm, at Waterbury and Kelly Funeral Home, 1300 Pleasantville Road, Briarcliff Manor NY.
WATERBURY & KELLY FUNERAL HOME
1300 Pleasantville Road
Briarcliff Manor, New York 10510
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