Bob L. Barnes, 94, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family, at his home in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on March 25, 2020. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Strode Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bob L. Barnes, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
Bobby Lee Barnes was born to Jess Clyde Barnes and Lilly Florence (Lawless) Barnes on December 11, 1925 in Okemah, Oklahoma. He was to be their only child. They moved to Stillwater in 1928, when he was three years old. The family joined the First Baptist Church, where Bobby received the Lord and was baptized at the age of nine. Bobby's Dad took him fishing and hunting as a boy, which quickly became his favorite hobbies. His father started the first Texaco dealership in Pawnee, and then in Stillwater. As a young man, Bob drove the Texaco truck delivering gasoline and oil to surrounding towns and farms. Some of his other jobs included dipping ice cream at the Midwest Creamery, and projectionist at the Camera Theatre on Main Street.
The Barnes family home was built in the country north of town, across the street from the present day Stillwater High School. Bobby and his friends' favorite pasttime was challenging each other in horse races down a dusty Husband Street. When he was a teenager, he and his dad planted and grafted many pecan trees in the area. They also developed Pecan Grove addition, where Bob later built their own family home. Bob was 1st Chair Clarinet in the Stillwater High School Band, and also played on their golf and tennis teams. He and his friends had their own band which practiced in his basement, in which Bob sang and played piano and clarinet. Among their favorite songs were the "Boogie Woogie" and "Chatanooga Choo Choo". Bob graduated from high school in 1943, and volunteered for the V-5 Naval Aviation program in Warrensburg, Missouri. While there, he was drum major in the marching band, and played and sang in a dance band. On the last day of survival training, World War II ended, and he chose to return to Stillwater and pursue his college degree.
In 1944, Bob enrolled in Oklahoma A & M College, joined ROTC, played the clarinet in the marching band, and joined the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. In the fall of his junior year, Bob met the 'Love of his Life', a pretty girl named Betty Joyce Nuckolls from Tulsa and a member of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. The fraternities and sororities joined together for weekly dances during the Big Band era, where the 'Jitterbug' and 'Swing' dancing became their favorites. And, "In the Mood", by the Glenn Miller Orchestra was their special song. Bob graduated in 1947, with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Music. That summer, Bob and Betty were married in Tulsa, on July 20, and they decided Stillwater was a wonderful place to raise a family. They were blessed with three beautiful children, Larry Alan, Beverly Gayle, and Robert Warren. Continuing in the Barnes' tradition, Bob took his sons, Larry and Robbie on numerous hunting and fishing trips. The family joined the First Baptist Church, where Bob and Betty occasionally sang in the church choir. They made many lifelong friends, and continued to be Oklahoma State Cowboy fans, attending many OSU sporting events.
Bob's father, Mr. J.C. Barnes, owned the Chrysler-Plymouth Agency in Stillwater, and Bob soon became his dad's top salesman. He purchased the dealership from his father in 1952, and managed it until 1966, when it was sold to spend more time with his family. Soon after, he decided that his next career would be in Life Insurance, and in 1977, he won the top Mass Mutual National 'Quota Buster' Award. He was successful in this endeavor for over forty-four years, winning trips for himself and Betty to many places around the world. Bob had earned his private pilot's license while in his twenties, at Stillwater Municipal Airport. He accumulated over 4000 flight hours, which greatly helped him as a life insurance salesman, and in real estate sales and development. Bob also served as president of the Stillwater Automobile Dealers Association, was secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, and was a Rotarian. He sang baritone in a barber shop quartet, and enjoyed golf and tennis into his adult years. Being an avid sportsman, Bob's family and friends enjoyed endless stories from his flying, hunting, and fishing trips.
Piloting their private plane, Bob flew the family on many summer vacations, including Canada and the mountains of Colorado. With the help of family and friends, they built a cabin in the beautiful Cuchara, Colorado area. Later on, summers were spent at a lower altitude near Pagosa Springs. All the kids and grandkids have wonderful memories at the cabins in the Colorado Mountains. There were wild jeep rides and fishing trips with Bobby as their guide, and Grandmommy would fry up the trout they caught! In 1976, Bob purchased a plot of land northwest of Stillwater, had it subdivided, and named it Oakwood Addition. It was here they built their dream home on the lake, made many wonderful friends, while Bob enjoyed fishing. They were blessed to have lived in this peaceful and beautiful place for over forty years.
Bob dearly loved and cherished his devoted wife Betty for over seventy years, loved his children, and loved being 'Granddaddy Bobby' to all his grandchildren and great grandchildren! One of 'Bobby's' favorite outings was attending his grandchildren and great grandchildren's ballgames even into his 90's! He had many pets, mostly bird dogs through the years, and a couple of dachshunds named Buster and Sammy, but there was no doubt that his last and favorite, was a sweet little doggie named Layla. Bob lived a long blessed life on this earth, and now he has moved on to his Heavenly home! As the song says, 'I can only imagine'!!
Bob was predeceased by his parents, and son, Dr. Larry Barnes. He is survived by his son; Robbie Barnes, daughter; Beverly Campbell and husband Jim, Grandsons; Bryce, Scott (and Cambria), Todd (and Autumn) Campbell, Granddaughter; Kelsey Black, and Great Grandchildren; Callie, Cole, Cyah, Case, Peyton, Callen, Kendrie and Duke Campbell, and Avery, Evyn, Parker, Cohen and Briar Black, all of Stillwater. Also special niece; Debi Garden, and nephews and nieces; Carol Henry, and Charlie, Tom , and Jack Nuckolls, Jeanne Anderson, Richard Oliveria, and many wonderful friends.
We are so very grateful to Dad's caregivers; Sherry Kyle, Private In Home Healthcare, and Janice Schmidt, Lucy Pinson, Patty Wilson, and Marsha Rose, for their tireless and loving care of Bob! Also, a special thank you to Dr. Daniel Hill, Nurse Emily and staff, and Physician's Choice Hospice for being such a blessing to Bob and his family.