Melvin “Barney” Keith Barnes

Melvin K. Barnes, 84, died peacefully in his sleep on Nov. 18, 2019, in Wasilla, Alaska, after an extended illness.

He was born to Carl and Ester Barnes in Auburn, Illinois. Melvin attended Auburn High School, then married Wanda Lee Dupes and had three sons. He worked at Caterpillar Tractor Company in Joliet, Illinois, until he retired in 1984.

After his wife’s death, he married Joan Carlson Barnes, and they raised eight children and one grandson together.

Melvin had an unwavering faith in God, and attended and graduated from “Abbott Loop Bible College” in 1986. He enjoyed studying and teaching the Bible — especially to young people — and talking about his Savior, Jesus, to anyone who would listen.

He was a kind, thoughtful, and hard-working man, who loved to help people. He will be greatly missed.

He is preceded in death by: his parents, Carl and Ester Barnes; his brother, Orville Barnes; his children, one infant son and two infant daughters; and Naomi Marie Rainwater-Teagarden.

Melvin is survived by: his loving wife of 52 years, Joan Marie Barnes;

His sister, Pauline Van Huss, of Gerard, Illinois;

His children, Coy Len Barnes, of Essex, Illinois, Thomas Keith Barnes, of Newport News, Virginia, David Richard Barnes, of Villa Rica, Georgia, Michael Anthony Drick, of Spokane, Washington, David Edward Drick, of Wasilla, Alaska, Jeffery Alan Drick, of Aurora, Colorado, and Marlene Woodrum, of Madisonville, Tennessee;

His grandson, Michael Steven Barnes, of Vonore, Tennessee, whom he and Joan raised;

Twenty-one other grandchildren and twenty-one great grandchildren.

His desire was to have his ashes spread in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, where he loved living and hiking for many years.

His memorial service will be held at Journey of Faith Fellowship in Madisonville, Tennessee, and officiated by his special friend and pastor, Tim Heath, on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at 6 p.m.