Melanie Van Rie Barnes, 52, died Dec. 28, 2001, at Stanford Hospital in California after an 18-month battle with neurolymphoma.

Melanie was born and raised in Palo Alto, Calif., and moved to Steamboat Springs in 1970 to attend the International University. She later attended Colorado State University at Fort Collins and returned to Steamboat to live. During her 30 years in Steamboat and in the Hilton Gulch Schoolhouse, Melanie enjoyed the gifts of nature in the high Rocky Mountains.

Melanie was active in politics and served several times as a Democratic delegate. She volunteered extensively at the Nature Conservancy and demonstrated her love of animals and wildlife through her support of numerous environmental and wildlife protection organizations. Melanie also participated in Cabaret and other local theatrical productions. She enjoyed creative writing and belonged to a writers group.

Melanie will be missed by friends in California and Colorado as well as by her family in the San Francisco Bay area: her father, Cecil Barnes; her mother, Lorrie Barnes Schwerdt; her sister, Marni; and her brother and his family, Chip, Jacky and Chris.

A gathering of friends and family will be held Jan. 12, 2001, at her sister’s house in Palo Alto.

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