Paul Elliott Barnes

Paul Elliott Barnes

October 8, 1965 – April 14, 2024

Paul Elliott Barnes, age 58, of Brookings, SD, passed away on April 14, 2024, after a battle with bone cancer. He was born October 8, 1965, in Omaha, NE. He was a beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, friend, and teacher. Paul was preceded in death by his mother and father, Barbara Rollogas (Ted) and Richard E. Barnes (Darlene). He is survived by his best friend and wife, Karrie A. Barnes; children, Paul K. Barnes (Lauren) and Ella M. Barnes; stepchildren, Katelyn A. Lehman (Titus), Karlie A. Peters (Christian), and Kole A. Rowan. He is also survived by siblings, Bari Chadd (Tim Mumm), Kathy Henderson, Susan Sullivan, and Richard B. Barnes (Nova). Paul was blessed richly with numerous nieces and nephews, neighbors, and dear friends.

Paul graduated from Bennington High School in Bennington, Nebraska where he enjoyed involvement in many activities including sports and the performing arts. Paul proudly served for 35 years as an educator and felt confident his career and faith allowed him to make a positive difference in the world. His career included work as a high school teacher, school counselor, college professor, and university administrator. Paul worked for the Millard Public Schools in Omaha for 10 years, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha for 21 years. Not knowing a serious illness was looming, he recently accepted a position at South Dakota State University where he was honored and excited to serve as Dean for the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Paul was a Christian man who loved his God, cherished time with family, and enjoyed camping, home projects, and the family pets. He said he wished to be remembered for being kind to others and for taking every opportunity to make others laugh.

VISITATION: Wednesday, April 17th, 5 to 7 p.m., at West Center Chapel, 7805 W. Center Rd.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Thursday, April 18th, 10:30 a.m., Love Church, 20120 Blue Sage Parkway.

Private Interment, Evergreen Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made by performing one act of kindness for a stranger in Paul’s memory.

To view a live broadcast of the Celebration of Life, please visit and click the “Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.


  • Gary Marshall Posted April 15, 2024 3:01 pm

    May your love and kindness continue to flow through all of us. To a fellow cancer warrior: your strength and resolve live on .

  • BJ Reed Posted April 15, 2024 3:26 pm

    Paul was an extraordinary human being who made everyone around him a better person. He will be sorely missed.

  • David Carter Posted April 15, 2024 3:29 pm

    To one of the sweetest man I had the privilege to call a friend and colleague for 25 years. You will be dearly missed. God bless you.

  • Dana Harvey Posted April 15, 2024 3:30 pm

    Karrie and family… you have been in our prayers for a long time and will continue to be as you go through your grief journey. We are so sorry for your loss.
    Love, Dana & Gary Harvey

  • Hamada Elfarargy Posted April 15, 2024 4:08 pm

    Sending sincere condolences to the family, friends, and all loved ones of former Dean Barnes. I got to talk to him only once and saw how he was such a great human that deserved love and respect of all who worked with him. May his soul rest in peace!

  • Dona Smith Posted April 15, 2024 4:25 pm

    Paul you were one of the nicest, funniest people I ever met. We loved you like a brother.

  • Jill Janecke Posted April 15, 2024 4:53 pm

    Thinking of you and your family Karrie!

  • Jenny Pieper Posted April 15, 2024 4:59 pm

    Cousins were our first friends growing up. RIP Paul, you will be missed.

  • Matt Gomez Posted April 15, 2024 5:48 pm

    Hadn’t spoken to you in many years but you were always so kind to me when I was a kid. RIP

  • Francine Baatz Posted April 15, 2024 6:31 pm

    So sad to hear this. He was so much fun as a young man. God grant you peace.

  • Rocky and LeAnn Chadd Posted April 15, 2024 9:22 pm

    So sorry for your loss.
    God Bless you and your family!

  • Nick Stergiou Posted April 15, 2024 10:36 pm

    You were so happy the day you found out that you had 2% Greek blood and you said jokingly that now we are practically brothers. You will always be my brother. We were born on the same month on the same year on the opposite sides of the planet but God brought us together to work for our UNO. I will miss you brother but I am sure we will meet again in front of Him.

  • Karen Griffith Posted April 16, 2024 5:04 am

    I met Paul through ASCA and quickly learned of his excellence in work abd delight as a friend. He was a treasure. I am so sorry at his loss.

  • Vijay Paralkar Posted April 16, 2024 5:33 am

    It’s very sad a great loss for me to get this news this morning. He was the one who opened doors for my entry, career, and life in the U.S. I will miss my time with him at UNO forever. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. May God give him a peaceful rest. Take care!

  • Elaine Rollogas Posted April 16, 2024 8:06 am

    Kathy, Bari, Susan and Richard, my heart aches for you in the loss of your brother, and my step-brother, Paul. I pray that God will reveal himself to you by demonstrating His grace, comfort, and mercy at this very sad and difficult time. You are always in my prayers. Love, Elaine

  • Mark Pilkington Posted April 16, 2024 8:13 am

    Paul was a great friend and educator. He touched the lives of so many people in so many positive ways. He will be missed. God Bless!

  • Kathie Guinan Posted April 16, 2024 9:49 am

    Paul and I were counselors at a middle school in Millard. He was by far, the nicest and funniest person and oh so humble. He was a joy to work with and I treasure our short time together. I am so sorry to hear this news and send my love and condolences to his family. Rest in peace, Paul.. Kathie Guinan

  • Nancy Schlesiger Posted April 16, 2024 10:27 am

    Paul was one of the most compassionate and kind administrators I had the pleasure to work with. My prayers for peace and comfort for his family. His loss will be deeply felt by so many.

  • Charlene Wolf-Hall Posted April 16, 2024 10:43 am

    My deepest sympathies. Paul was a wonderful role model and human being. He will be greatly missed.

  • Teunnia Archie Posted April 16, 2024 11:14 am

    I will be forever grateful for your counseling leadership! I made it through many classes at UNO because of your guidance. You made the counseling profession fun and one I could grow to love. Truly one of the best professors I ever had!

  • Thang Tran Posted April 16, 2024 12:21 pm

    As I think about what you have left (and are leaving) behind the word “honor” comes to mind. You have left a legacy of honoring those around you. You did this with winsomeness, clever wit, kindness, humor, and understanding. You honored me as a student at UNO years ago, by always being present, which gave me the courage to move out into the scary world of school counseling…and being present for my students. You taught us with courage and care. You did that with so many others here in Omaha. I will do everything I can to continue your legacy at UNO.
    From one middle-school counselor-at-heart to another, you will not be forgotten. Can’t wait to see you on the other side of Eternity.

  • Julie Masters Posted April 16, 2024 1:57 pm

    Paul was a good and kind soul. Grateful to have worked with him at UNO. May he rest in peace.

  • Danae Dinkel Posted April 16, 2024 2:42 pm

    Paul was such a joy to be around. As a colleague at UNO he always brought humor to every situation and I remember during COVID looking forward to some our typical faculty meetings to see what background he came up with to make us all laugh during such a stressful time. You will be missed!

  • Jeannette Seaberry Posted April 16, 2024 3:13 pm

    To a truly fine human being and educator. I treasure my work time with you and wish you peace forever. Jeannette seaberry

  • Joe and Jane Bertinetti Posted April 16, 2024 5:01 pm

    Paul was a good friend and colleague who will be missed. I will always remember the many trips we had together to solidify our professional standing in accrediting organizations and our daily meetings in the Counseling Department housed in Kaiser Hall. Outside of the University he was a good buddy to talk about many issues. I will always treasure those times. RIP Paul.

  • Kendra Kattelmann Posted April 17, 2024 5:31 am

    Even though I only worked with Paul a short time, it was a joy to work with him. He left many positive memories . My greatest condolences to you and the family..

  • Patrick Wheeler Posted April 17, 2024 6:36 am

    The world is a better place because of Paul. His kindness and positivity radiated to those around him. It was an honor to know him and a privilege to work with him. Blessings and peace to you all.

  • Bob Lykke Posted April 17, 2024 7:01 am

    Paul was an exceptional educator and leader, but more importantly, he was a wonderful human being. He touched so many lives. My prayers are with his family.

  • South High Counseling Department Posted April 17, 2024 9:16 am

    Paul encouraged many of us counselors, past and present, at South High. We are grateful to have had his encouragement and leadership through the years. Thank you Paul for being such an amazing person. Thank you to his family for sharing him, and know that he influenced many lives, and will continue to do so through us!

  • Wendy Everson Posted April 17, 2024 9:35 am

    Dear Karrie,
    Know that I will be doing an act of kindness to a stranger in memory of Paul. He was so very kind and helpful to me when I was in the UNO Counseling Program under his reign as Director. Hold the memories of him close to your heart. Deep peace to you and your family. Wendy

  • Terry and Kelly Thielen Posted April 17, 2024 9:56 am

    Loved working with Paul at Millard North. He always wanted what was best for kids. Rest in Peace, Paul.

  • esther scarpello Posted April 17, 2024 10:03 am

    I was saddened to learned about Paul’s passing – my thoughts and prayers are with you all. I enjoyed working with Paul; he was a dedicated educator and support of UNO. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and UNO community. Best wishes in the days ahead. Esther Scarpello

  • Jean Horner Posted April 17, 2024 4:31 pm

    Paul and I shared 6 feet of Formica in prep c at Millard North. He was a fabulous teacher and good friend. He taught me so much and left such a lasting impact on our students. Job well done, Paul.

  • Rick Richards Posted April 17, 2024 5:23 pm

    I went through the school counseling program at UNO with Paul in the 90’s. When Paul started working as faculty at UNO he honored me by offering me the opportunity to work as adjunct faculty and then full-time faculty. I was honored that someone with Paul’s standing in the College of Ed at UNO and in the counseling profession outside of the university would have the confidence in me to trust me to teach future school counselors. He was always so positive in his outlook on education and so kind in his dealings with colleagues and students. He was a role model for me in that regard. Paul will be missed, but my life has been forever changed for the better because of my interactions with him. RIP, Paul.

  • Evan Ortlieb Posted April 17, 2024 8:35 pm

    Paul saw the beauty in all aspects of life. His sense of humor and compassion for others exuded through his leadership on and off campus. Beloved by all and his legacy will forever live on at SDSU

  • Randall L Ness Posted April 18, 2024 8:05 am

    Paul was a true friend. One of few. He will live in our hearts for the remainder of our days and may the love and kindness he has shown us in this life, sustain us until we meet again in heaven.

  • Lawrence P Johnson Posted April 18, 2024 3:35 pm

    Paul made a tremendous impact on all of us at SDSU. Much greater than his leadership on and off campus, what I appreciate most about Paul was his caring spirit and grace. I take comfort in knowing that he is leading and teaching in heaven. My God bless Paul’s family as they face a world without him.

  • Barb Newell Posted April 18, 2024 5:31 pm

    Paul, you are legend within the CEHHS and UNO campus. You made a positive impact on so many lives! Today many came together to celebrate you. It was beautiful, I hope you were there amongst us to witness how beloved you are to so many. I have an abundance of good memories and stories of our time together within the Counseling Department. I cherish those memories, and thoughts of you will always bring a smile.

  • Sheila Lahmann Posted April 19, 2024 8:16 pm

    Many condolences to the family. I was fortunate to have Dr Barnes as a teacher , college professor and advisor. I can remember our last meeting and will be forever grateful for his encouragement and guidance..

  • Joyce Crockettt Posted April 22, 2024 1:27 pm

    My heart is saddened to know Paul has passed. I worked with Paul on many projects at UNO and his sensitivity to people was something that always stayed with me. My deepest sympathies and may you find peace.

  • Abby Bjornsen Posted April 22, 2024 4:38 pm

    Paul, you are one in a million. First my boss, then my mentor, and most importantly, my dear friend. Everything I know about how to be a real person in academia, I learned from you. You truly are a legend, and there are countless lives you touched that will carry on your legacy through your influence. Once again, you are the Betty White of UNO – thank you for being a friend. XOXO.

  • Dave Herbener Posted April 22, 2024 7:52 pm

    Paul was an annual guest and presenter in my AP Psychology classes at Papillion La Vista High School. He was always so gracious and kind to me and my students. The kids loved him for his engaging personality, knowledge, humor, and enthusiasm. His visits were always ranked by my students as their favorite activity of the year. He was a great man.

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