Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Eugene Barrientes

July 3, 1961 - January 25, 2021
Grand Rapids, MI



Friday, January 29, 2021
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST
Newhall Christian Fellowship / Templo Victoria
3434 Hubal Ave SW
Wyoming, MI 49519


Friday, January 29, 2021
1:00 PM EST
Newhall Christian Fellowship / Templo Victoria
3434 Hubal Avenue SW
Wyoming, MI 49519

Life Story / Obituary


With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around him, Eugene “Uncle Eug” Barrientes brought such vibrant fun to the world around him. He worked hard, but he played hard, too, and his work ethic was truly inspiring to those around him. Eugene was deeply devoted to his loved ones, and he was filled with great joy to become a grandfather later in life. Although he faced trials, Eugene’s strength and resolve was unmatched. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.

The 1960s were a vibrant time in American history. This was the decade when we elected the young John F. Kennedy as our 35th President of the United States, and by the end of the decade we had put the first man on the moon. It was also during this eventful time that Tomas and Maria “Mary” (Paiz) Barrientes were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Eugene Thomas on July 3, 1961, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Because his father’s family was from Texas, they moved there when he was a baby and remained there for the next eight years. It was there that his brother, Gilbert, was born. Eugene was very close with his aunt, who was also from Grand Rapids and spent time with their family in Texas. She was only about nine years older than Eugene so she brought him to school with her when she was in middle school.

In many ways Eugene was a young boy of his generation. After returning to Michigan, they lived near a peach orchard, which is where he was known to hide if he did something wrong. Eugene attended local schools and also played baseball and football with friends in the fields or streets. Of course, he also found his fair share of mischief. Eugene was known for his sense of humor, and at times it got him into trouble while at other times it got him out of trouble. In everything, his personality always drew others near, and he could make anyone laugh in any situation. Throughout most of his life in Michigan, Eugene lived on the Northwest side. He later graduated from Union High School.

As his family and friends can attest, Eugene was known for his strong work ethic. His first job was with Nelson Metals where he worked in plating. It was apparent, even at his young age, just how strong his work ethic was, and his employer took note.

Not to be forgotten was Eugene’s introduction to the woman who would change the course of his life forever. Her name was Chris Feldman, and they met through a mutual large group of friends. In addition, Eugene was a father to five amazing children, and he played an important role in their lives. He was always interested in what they were doing, and he was there to support them in all their events and activities. Eugene was a lover of people, and they hosted their family gatherings for years. Although he didn’t do much with the planning or food, he could always be counted on for the fun and laughter. They also regularly got together in friends’ homes. Eventually, Eugene was blessed to have grandchildren as well, and he loved spending time with them whenever they could. They adored him, and it was hard to tell who enjoyed being together more, Eugene or his grandchildren!

Throughout his life Eugene, or “Uncle Eug” or “The Mexican” as he was known to so many, enjoyed so many things. For most of his life he loved working out and has even been called a gym rat. Uncle Eug did some kickboxing, but even later he continued to work out despite a pretty big health scare. This began after a reaction to a flu shot in the late 1990s. Eugene spent about a year in the hospital, much of it in the Mayo Clinic, and he was even told he would never walk again. Resilient, he proved them wrong and was able to return home with a walker. Eugene enjoyed so many things that were familiar to him including family, friends, and the places he visited from the pharmacy, to Mr. Burger, New Beginnings Restaurant, and others. As a result, Uncle Eug always knew people wherever he went. When his aunt opened various restaurants in the Grand Rapids area, Eugene was there to help in her any way that he could. The same will and determination that got him back on his feet drove him to help her with each new opening. As someone who worked hard to provide for his family, Eugene later did some janitorial work. During the last several years he worked at MBI Auto where he was genuinely liked. It was easy to see his strong work ethic, and with his outgoing personality Eugene was easy to like.

Just last week Eugene was in the hospital. Since he hated sitting around he couldn’t wait to get back to work, but this never came to be as he passed away at his home just a short time later.

Although he was taken from his loved ones too soon, Eugene Barrientes made a significant impact in the lives of so many others. He was overwhelmingly generous and the sort of person who would help anyone in ways both great and small. Although Uncle Eug was a bit rough and rugged on the outside, inside he was really just a big softie with a heart of gold. Life will never be the same without him here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his friends and loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.

Eugene Thomas Barrientes, “Uncle Eug”, age 59 of Grand Rapids, passed away unexpected on January 25, 2021. He was preceded in death by his grandparents Sotero and Apolonia Paiz; Jose and Rumalda Barrientes; and Uncle, Daniel Castillo. Eugene is survived by his parents Tomas Barrientes and Mary (Sacramento) Vazquez; children Tara (Victor) Flores, Angela Feldman, Eugene (Candace) Barrientes, Jesse Barrientes and Thomas Barrientes; 14 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren; and brother, Gilbert Barrientes, as well as several nieces and nephews: Melissa, Brittany and Gilbert Jr. . His funeral service will be held on Friday, January 29th, 2021 at 1 PM at Nehall Christian Fellowship / Templo Victoria, 3434 Hubal Ave SW in Wyoming. Friends are invited to visit with his family at the church from 12 noon until the time of the service.