Ocean Beach 07

Dr. Nancy Gail Barnett Ph.D.

November 23, 1944 ~ February 28, 2021 (age 76)



November 23, 1944 to February 28, 2021


               On February 28, 2021 our beloved Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Friend, Confidant, and Mentor passed away surrounded by her children.  She is survived by her children James Gardner, Roberta Barnett, Joan Barnett-Lee (Brian), Linda Barnett-Blue (Forest); her Sister Sandra Dempsey (John); her nephews Jonathan and Andrew; her sister-in-law Louise Zimmerman. Her biggest joy and treasures in life were her Grandchildren: Dylan (James), Brayden (James), Katelyn (Roberta), Christopher (Roberta), Jonah (Joan), Bella (Linda) and Elliott (Linda).  She was the biggest fan and supporter of all people she held close to her.  Many a student, friend, neighbor or acquaintance made friend would consider her as a second Mom or sister.  Her resourcefulness was limitless in finding free programs for others like braces, money, student programs, and real estate loans for people she knew that needed it.  She was a person that knew a little bit about everything especially government, science, economics, music, movies, history, musicals, and dance.  She was available by phone day or night and the person you call as a lifeline to answer the most obscure question, solve your problem, help you with a decision or talk you through a late-night drive. She loved politics and worked on Kennedy McGovern, Obama and Biden’s campaigns.  She used her Broker and Real Estate license often to help her young friends and family buy their first homes and other properties by generously gifting them her commissions.  She had the singing voice of an angel from a young age.  She sang her whole life from grade school performing in the Rose Bowl, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, JFKs Inauguration celebrations, Honors Choirs, singing at Long Beach State, later teaching/leading choirs and vocal groups, singing as a soloist at the Sacramento Cathedral for several years, in the Sacramento Opera Company, the San Francisco Opera Company, in the Dixieland Jazz Jubilee, at various piano bars in San Francisco, at weddings, funerals, and of course as a tradition at Christmas with her children before opening Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve.  In her later years, she found great joy working on vocals with her granddaughter Bella, listening to her son’s vocals and guitar, and listening to her grandsons playing instruments and sing.  When the kids were little, she and her husband of 16 years, August Guardalabene, raised them surrounded by music.  Singing, dancing, playing music and listening to music became important in life to anyone Nancy helped raise.  The Priests that attended her death from the Cathedral said that she would enter heaven with the angels singing since she used her voice and talent to serve so many people.  Nancy was a woman of intense faith and spirituality.  While she was raised Catholic, she also discovered and practiced other faiths such as Buddhism and Hinduism.  She believed in the metaphysical, symbolism, Costumbre and how science ties into life. She loved nature, flowers and the ocean.  She was cremated and her ashes were spread by her children and family at Bodega Bay near Goats Rock, a place she held dear.  Mysteriously a white rose appeared in the surf on the sand right after.  She offered powerful prayers and Reiki Healing when others were in need.  She is remembered as a loving, kind and giving person with a great sense of humor and a huge life force.  She knew how to entertain, cook amazing food and make anyone near her family a part of her family.  She knew how to have fun and the best places to go especially when she would spend weekends in San Francisco and the coast in the 90’s.  She knew how to pick the best gifts for her grandkids.  She loved all babies, kids, bunnies, cats and cute white dogs.  She had an eye for the most fun toys for the kids in her life and planned crafts or baking for every holiday that the kids would enjoy.  She was amazing at art, colored the best Easter Eggs, crocheted, made wonderful baby blankets and quilts.  Although she was an academic, she taught herself to sew well enough to make her own Wedding dress, later costumes for her kids/grandkids, and matching clothes for herself, her granddaughter and her twin doll.   Being the first in her family to go to college and also to earn her Masters and Ph.D. while raising four kids gave her the credibility to tell many of those she mentored “If I did, you can.”  There was never a challenge or experience she would discourage unless it included being too far to visit.  She had deep personal relationships with many people and had a way of making others value themselves.

In business she was Dr. Barnett, the founder of Barnett Research Associates, a full-service marketing company specializing in market feasibility research.  In the past 43 years, Barnett Research has provided marketing and market research throughout the Western United States with an emphasis on California.  Backed by her Ph.D. from the University of California, Nancy was considered an expert in the real estate market research.  She performed and developed feasibility analysis on well over a thousand, residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects in California and the Western States.  It is hard to name a city in Northern California that Nancy did not work to develop a real estate project in.   Dr. Barnett found a niche that lasted decades with large financial institutions needing to utilize her market analysis studies and her professional credibility as a justification to lending millions of dollars of construction funding for large subdivision of residential homes. Much of Barnett Research Associates’ research has been ground breaking beginning in a time when market research on real estate was not based in scientific economic rigor.  In the 1980’s while there were few to none Ph.Ds. there were no female Ph.Ds.  This type of work may have been done by women who were secretaries or sales women but none with graduate training in economics and scientific studies.  Nancy’s doctorate was a combined program in Communicative Behavior in Business, Research and Statistics.  She also taught and lectured for the University of California system, California State University System and private colleges including University of San Francisco, University of Phoenix and Chapman University.

In the 1980’s, Dr. Barnett designed and performed the first market feasibility and project/tenant analysis for condominium conversion throughout California.  Her research design was adopted by the State of California as a necessary requirement for governmentmental approval of converting rental apartments into for sale condominium homes.  Thousands of Californians became first time homeowners as a result of the program.  Being in academia made Barnett aware and strive to always be on top of the latest technology.  She was always pioneering the use of many different operating systems, software packages, graphics packages and other office equipment to give her business an edge that others were behind of.  This also made her business an excellent place for college interns, employees and even her children that also worked in the business to grow marketable skills. She loved hearing from clients in the industry that her burgundy bound feasibility studies that were easily recognizable on any bookshelf were seen “everywhere.” In addition to her Real Estate feasibility studies, she also helped launch several business and products.  Among her diverse successes was the Sacramento Downtown Plaza, Sacramento Downtown Central Library Study, eggnog taste surveys, Hansen’s Natural Drinks, Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum, Jiffy Lube, military base conversions like Mare Island and McClellan, newspapers, magazines, Building Associations, Airlines, Ambulance Companies, senior housing/care studies, mini-storage, countless market surveys, opinion polls, economic studies for private, state and federal agencies, consumer preference reports and many more projects.  While Nancy worked tireless hours being an Entrepreneur growing Barnett Research and had a staff of up to 22 people at times, she also pioneered the smoke and mirrors of working at home when it wasn’t regularly done in business.  She figured out how she could get more done working at home especially when she was writing at times up to one study per week.  In her own words it enabled her to enjoy her home, her kids, her animals and cut down on overhead when she was paying college tuitions.

We appreciate all the love that has been shown to us during our Mom’s passing.  When you look at the ocean think of her and to honor her do something nice for someone else when no one else is watching like she often did.








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