Prayers for a full recovery quickly turned to sorrow this week with the passing of Utah State University police officer Andy Barnes on Dec. 12, barely a week after he was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer.

“Andy was an important part of the Utah State University Public Safety team and was well respected across campus and in the community,” USU Chief of Police Michael Kuehn said. “Andy was an amazing example of selfless love, always thinking of others and had a kind word or joke ready for his co-workers. He will be truly missed by all of us.”

Barnes, 45, is a Cache Valley native and leaves behind his wife, Cathrine, and their three children.

Kuehn said Barnes’s quick wit, calm disposition and commitment to professionalism while working with others enabled him to easily earn the trust and respect of the USU and Cache Valley communities.

As a young adult, Barnes volunteered with the Cache County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team, and in 1998, he started working a full-time position in the Cache County Sheriff’s Office as a corrections officer.

While there, he worked with inmates as a work-release coordinator, a transportation deputy and a jailer. Barnes was also part of the contingent of Cache County deputies who provided security at the Snowbasin Resort during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Barnes has been employed with USU Police since 2009.

A GoFundMe account at was established by a family member last week soon after learning of the cancer, at the time with the intent of providing financial support wherever it might be needed.

“Right now we don’t know all that he or his family is up against, but what we do know is that we are asking for help,” Michelle Koch wrote.

Nearly $12,000 has come pouring in since its creation, both before and after his death.

Funeral services will be held at 100 W. 450 North in Hyde Park on Wednesday, and burial will follow at the Hyde Park Cemetery. Twitter: amacavinta

Amy Macavinta is the crime reporter for The Herald Journal. She can be reached at