Barnett, a Burbank resident, started volunteering for conservative political campaigns in the 1960s. She later worked as a district representative for former area state Assemblymen Pat Nolan and Jim Rogan. In 2008, she ran for the Glendale-Burbank Assembly seat as the Republican nominee.
Friends said Barnett’s enthusiasm for political causes and public service was matched only by her dedication as a wife and mother. She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Lou Barnett, and their seven children and eight grandchildren.
“Jane was a pillar of the local party,” Nolan said. “She served both her family and the public with grace and aplomb. She was a woman who could do it all — raise a family, work full time and volunteer for the church and the local party.”
Barnett began her battle with cancer not long after she was elected county Republican Party chair in 2009, but she continued to serve through late 2011, attending meetings until earlier this year despite her failing health.
“I had a great deal of respect for Jane’s leadership ability when she was chair, but I gained a great deal more when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer but was willing to continue,” said Gary Aminoff, who was her vice chair.
Lou Barnett said his wife “was a deeply religious person who believed in causes, worked hard, fought fair and loved people.”
Barnett’s life will be celebrated Tuesday with a viewing at 9:15 a.m. and funeral Mass at 10 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church in Glendale.
Follow Joe Piasecki on Twitter: @JoePiasecki.