Growing into Her Own: Get Caught Up with Angela (Aden) Barnes ’82
Angela (Aden) Barnes ‘82 has always loved staying active and has built her life around acts of service & hobbies that enhance her surroundings. Her talents are as varied as her interests, and her resume is an impressive blend of skills and experiences. Barnes credits much of her success to her time in Quincy Public Schools.
“I had a great education and all the experiences growing up in the Quincy Public Schools shaped me into who I am today,” said Angie in a recent interview. “I’ve always been the cheerleader, the promoter, the motivator and I use it all the time.”
When Angie was in high school, her favorite teacher was Mr. Sanders. He taught sciences at QHS, and he encouraged Angie to explore her talents in his classes. When it came time for college, Angie put those talents to work when she opted to attend Truman State University (then NMSU) to pursue her degree in biology & chemistry. Since then, Barnes has been working in the laboratory field for 37 years and has been employed as a medical technologist in the medical laboratory at Quincy Medical Group for the last 24 years.
“At work, we perform multitudes of tests on patient specimens. Our lab has several departments including hematology, chemistry, urinalysis, microbiology, and serology. I rotate between all of them,” said Angie. “I love this field because it is always changing, and the technology is always evolving.”
When one thinks of laboratory scientists, one may think of someone who is meticulous, detail-oriented, and structured. Angie has all of those skills and is an accomplished medical technologist… but that is not where her unique talents and skills end. Angie is also a very creative person, with a flair for adding beauty to the world around her.
“I get asked about it a lot, since I work in a very analytical field, but I have always had a creative side! I love creating, cooking, and gardening.”
Angie is so creative, in fact, she has created avenues to express herself outside of the laboratory environment.
“Six years ago, I received a certificate from John Wood Community College in Growing Organic Fruits and Vegetables and started my little side hustle: Momma Bee’s Garden. I grow and sell vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers to the community. I love sharing my passion of gardening through social media- sharing planting and growing tips, gardening with children, recipes, preserving produce, growing for pollinators, and garden & nature crafts.”
In addition to her gardening, creativity and art were also infused into her household by her husband Blane Barnes ’80. Barnes retired in 2022 after 17 years of teaching art at QPS, with 11 years at QHS and six years at QJHS. His time at QHS did not go without making a mark.
“Many of the large wall murals you see at QHS were created by Blane and his students while he taught at QHS,” said Angie. “Now that he is retired, you will see him at the scorer’s table during basketball season.”
Blue Devil basketball has always been an important part of the Barnes’ lives. Some of that may be attributed to the incredible seasons the Blue Devils banked while Angie was in school.
“Back in my time at QHS, we had the best basketball team in the nation! I was thrilled to be a part of this as I was a cheerleader for the Quincy Blue Devils Basketball team,” remembers Angie. “The team placed 1st in 1981 and 3rd in 1982. It was so magical and exciting and to try to explain all the crowds and craziness to kids today… it’s impossible. If you know – you know!!!”
Just as Blane & his students made an impact on QHS with their murals, Angie made just as big of an impact on QHS traditions when she was a student.
“During the Blue Devil Pre-game Ceremony, just before the Blue Devil turns to the High School Student section and he kneels down and raises his arm, twirls it. The crowd yells, “Q-H-S” and everyone goes wild!” said Angie. “Well not many know this, but back in 1981-82, yours truly made that up with our blue devil, Brad Schrader! Back then we had to tell everyone -not text- what we had planned. Forty years later – the Blue Devil is still doing this chant! I love it!”
Passing down Blue Devil traditions is important to Angie, and family & community are her top priorities. The Barnes’ have two children, Maddy & Makenzy, both of whom graduated from QHS. Raising their children in Quincy was important to the couple.
“After getting married, we lived in Kansas City for 12 years. We had both our daughters there in KC. We decided to move back to Quincy in 1999 to raise our children,” remembers Angie. “Moving back home was great for them. They were fortunate to grow up with grandparents and cousins.”
Both girls are now grown and have started their own lives.
“Maddy is married. Her and her husband, Brandon, live in Chicago with 2 adorable children: Ryleigh and Jayce. Makenzy lives in Quincy and is employed by Sunset Home and Kustom Kuts. She makes Quincy beautiful as a hair stylist!”
When she is not working in the lab, tending her garden, or cheering on the team, Angie also loves giving back to her community. She has amassed an impressive record of volunteerism here in Quincy.
“Since moving back to Quincy in 1999, volunteering in the community has been very important to me. I served as a member of Quincy Service League, and as a board member for YWCA and QMG Foundation. I’ve also donated my time, talent and treasure to many other organizations, including Bridge The Gap, Feast in the District, 100 Women Care, Quincy’s Farmer’s Market, Buzz-Off – Cancer Crush, and Horizons.”
Barnes was also on the planning committee for her QPS Class of 1982 40th Reunion.
“I think class reunions are important because I was a student council officer in my class and they were always involved with planning class reunions. I love doing it.”
As for future plans, retirement is on the horizon. With Blane retired now, Angie plans to retire soon.
“We love spending time with our grandchildren, family, and friends. We want to travel more, and I want to garden and volunteer more!”