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August 4, 1931 - December 28, 2015
Kenneth Dwain Barnes, the son of Olin and Chrystal (Akin) Barnes, was born August 4, 1931 on the Griffin Farm southeast of Westboro, MO. He passed into eternal life on December 28, 2015 at the Tarkio Rehabilitation Center in Tarkio, Missouri.
Kenneth attended the North Star School for eight years; he and his sister Bonnie rode a horse to school every day. Several of the years at North Star, Kenneth, Bonnie and Lois Macrander made up the entire student body. After North Star, he attended Westboro High School where he excelled in football, and graduated in the class of 1949. After high school, Kenneth attended Northwest Normal School in Maryville, MO. He left college in 1951 to enlist in the USMC, in part, he always said, so that he wouldn’t have to help his dad build fence. Enlisting together in the USMC with Kenneth were Harry Hamilton, Lee Eddy Stevens, Don Noble and Bob Campbell. These five men forged a lifelong relationship; gathering every year for their “Marine Reunion.” Harry, Lee Eddy and Don now survive.
In 1953, on a leave from the USMC, Kenneth was joined in marriage with Carol Adele Meyer, one of his classmates from Westboro High School. Carol was patient with the USMC, as their wedding date had to be set back several times when Kenneth’s leave did not come through. Finally, on January 3, 1953, they were married at Locust Grove Methodist Church near Shenandoah. They were newlyweds and lived in Laguna Beach, CA while Kenneth served his country. Kenneth was honorably discharged as a Sergeant, after serving overseas in the Korean War.
Upon his discharge in 1954, Kenneth and Carol returned to Westboro to start farming and begin their family. He began farming the Lester Ebert farm in the North Star district, later moving to the Olin Barnes farm between Westboro and Elmo. In 1970, Kenneth and Carol built a house on their farm two miles east of Westboro. He lived on this farm the rest of his life, with the exception of the last few months spent at Tarkio Rehabilitation Center in Tarkio.
Kenneth was a fun person. His sharp wit and storytelling abilities brought laughter to everyone around him. He enjoyed life at every stage. He especially loved kids and their activities. He coached Little League for several years, once driving fifteen Little Leaguers to an away game in his station wagon. Summer vacations were often spent with the Bill Akin (Kenneth’s uncle) family in Minnesota to fish, ski and swim. He planned the vacations to start by driving all night with kids sleeping in the family car as to not waste a day of vacation traveling. He loved the water and passed that love on to his children and grandchildren. It was very important to him that his kids and grandchildren became excellent swimmers and would ask about their progress in this area.
Later in life, after retirement, Kenneth enjoyed woodworking, gardening and fishing in his pond. Most of all, he and Carol enjoyed having any and all of their eleven grandchildren over to their home for various adventures and festivities – one of his favorites being the 4th of July celebration which brought his love of country, fun and family together every year. Whatever the occasion, the grandchildren always enjoyed special treats prepared by Grandpa: “real” popcorn, his homemade fudge, ice cream, dried apples and the ever overflowing candy drawer. He will be missed.
Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents; and infant son, Curtis W. Barnes in 1954.
Surviving Kenneth are his wife of almost 63 years (on January 3, 2016), Carol; sister, Bonnie Sharp and husband, Maurice, Tacoma, Washington; son, Tracy and wife, Holly of Fairfax, Missouri; son Kirby and wife Ana of Indianapolis, Indiana; son Joel of Westboro, Missouri; son Rod of Richmond, Virginia and daughter Colette Maelzer and husband, Kevin of Olathe, Kansas; grandchildren: Dustin Barnes and wife Erica; Kelly Pruitt and husband Matt; Spencer Barnes and wife Lindsey; Jase Barnes; Goldie Barnes; Mitchell Barnes; Kaleb Maelzer; Matthew Barnes; Nathan Barnes; Jacob Maelzer and Alexa Barnes; and great-granddaughter, Aislyn Barnes; nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
1:00 pm, Thursday, December 31, 2015, Westboro United Methodist Church, Westboro.
Interment: High Prairie Cemetery, Elmo, Missouri.
Memorials: United Methodist Women for Dr. Don Petry of TELED International Ministries.
Open visitation begins 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 30, Davis Funeral Home,
Tarkio. The family will receive friends in the Westboro United Methodist Church basement following the interment.
Online obituaries and condolences at www.minterfuneralchapels.com.