In Memory

Barney McPhillips

Barney McPhillips

Bernard A. McPhillips III died in Portland in October 1972 from injuries sustained in a auto accident near Rutland Vermont on May 20th of that year.  The accident happend while he was a student at Dartmouth College.  He was 19.

He was survived by his parents and a brother Ramsey.

The Oregonian - 10/07/1972

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03/26/11 11:40 PM #1    

Wende Stitt

In 2006, I was invited to participate in the Oakland Museum of California's 13th annual Dia de los Muertos exhibit. At the last moment, a muralist had pulled out and I was asked if I could fill the space left vacant. I agreed and created "Bonne Nuit", an 85" x 17' quilt. (Pictured here at the Oceanside Museum of Art, 2008) Here is the artist statement for this quilt:

"Bonne Nuit is a Dia de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”) quilted ofrenda (“offering”) honoring friends, relatives and neighbors of mine who have passed. At a party in the afterlife, a group of jovial spirits realizes they have a common bond: they all knew me. A joyous conversation ensues as each remembers our time together. Working on this piece, I discovered that the people I was honoring are actually eulogizing me.

From left to right: Antonino “Tony” Herrera, “RivKits” Keno, Cecelia “Hau`oli” Pritchard, Dennis Drieling, Dr. Emil H. White, my grandmother, my cousin, Barney McPhillips, and Tony and Sally Consorti."

After high school I had a dream about Barney every year for several years. In high school I had a secret crush on him. My feeling was that he thought I was a total dork. I remember that he was dating Patty Jameson senior year. I remember his nose, I remember that he was intelligent, I remember that his skin turned a beautiful shade of copper in the summertime. I have no idea why he kept coming to me in my dreams. So, when I had the chance to create this Dia de los Muertos quilt I included him because he was someone that I thought of often- even though we were definitely not close. I crack up every time I see him in this quilt because I acknowledge in it that I was but a speck on his radar. 

Since 2006, this award-winning quilt has been seen throughout California by over 60,000 people. It has been included in prestigious quilt exhibitions and Dia de los Muertos celebrations. 

After its completion, I never dreamt about Barney again.

xoxoxoxo, Wende Stitt


03/06/16 01:10 PM #2    

Bruce Franszen

Nice story Wendy, I moved to L,O. My senior year from Wisconsin. I met Barney through Bob Wirtz and Barney was a remarkable person. Miss the guy

09/30/22 12:11 PM #3    

Ric Bailey

Barney was an incredible quarter miler, but blew out an ankle doing the long jump in gym class (the take off board was a warped old wooden plank), and never could run again.  Wioth John Silver and Roger Johnson, could have been an incredible 4x100 team.

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