Randel Barnett, 56; Freelancer Wrote for Baltimore Publications

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Randel G. "Randy" Barnett, 56, a freelance writer whose work appeared in Baltimore Magazine, the Washingtonian and Baltimore Business Monthly, died of an aneurysm Oct. 27 at his home in Falmouth, Mass.

In 1977, Mr. Barnett became a contributing editor and investigative reporter for Baltimore Magazine and freelanced for other publications.

His articles included a report on tennis rackets and equipment, which he wrote with his father, David Barnett, who retired as an assistant managing editor of U.S. News & World Report.

Mr. Barnett wrote also about snake breeding and the bringing of the Lexus to the United States, among other topics, and interviewed local sports personalities. He also wrote about wine expert Robert Parker, and the two later became friends.

Mr. Barnett was born in Richmond and moved with his family to the Hollin Hills area of Fairfax County in 1954. He graduated in 1969 from Groveton High School, where he starred in tennis and basketball. He won the Jaycee tennis championship for 16-and-under boys in 1967 and the Northern Region Tennis championship in 1969. He also competed in many tennis tournaments at the state and national levels.

Mr. Barnett graduated in 1973 from Harvard University, where he captained the tennis team his senior year.

He received a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1974.

While his wife completed her medical studies, Mr. Barnett worked as assistant administrator of the Maryland Department of Commerce and Trade Development.

After moving in 1977 to Baltimore, where his wife began a pediatric practice, Mr. Barnett worked as a freelance writer. He had the flexibility to work from a home office and be available for his two daughters, something that many of his colleagues did not choose to do at that time.

He also was active in coaching and mentoring young athletes. The Chesapeake Hurricanes, a 12-and-under girls' basketball team he coached in Baltimore, reached the Final Four of the Amateur Athletic Union tournament in 1993 and then won the Youth Basketball of America tournament in Orlando.

Mr. Barnett and his wife moved to Fresno, Calif., in 1999. They returned to the East Coast five years later.

In addition to his wife, whom he met in high school and married in 1977, survivors include two daughters, Sara Barnett of New York and Kate Barnett of Sea Cliff, N.Y.; his mother, Jeanne Barnett of Alexandria; and two sisters, Megan Barnett of Alexandria and Janie Barnett Hanson of Brooklyn, N.Y.

-- Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb

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