Barbara M. Barnes
Barbara M. Barnes
  • November 17, 1921 - September 8, 2011
  • Madison, Mississippi

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Barbara McKinley Barnes died Thursday, September 8, 2011, at St Catherine's Village in Madison. Services are Saturday, September 10, at 2 PM at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home on High Street in Jackson, with interment at Lakewood Memorial Park. Visitation will be 12:00 - 2:00 PM Saturday at the funeral home.

Born on Carson Plantation, at Winterville, Mississippi, to Grace Gunter and Micajah Colbert McKinley on November 17, 1921, Barbara was the second of seven children. Her father was a plantation manager, so her early years were spent in a number of small farming towns in the Mississippi and Louisiana Deltas. She attended schools in Tallulah, Transylvania and Lake Providence, LA, but graduated from high school in Centreville, AL at the age of 15. She attended business school in Birmingham and moved to Jackson searching for a job in the fall of 1938. She attended Calvary Baptist Church and there she met her husband, Richard Grant (Dick) Barnes.

Barbara was selected as Executive Director of the YWCA in 1964, at a time of transition into compliance with Civil Rights legislation. It was a stressful and trying time, but in 1968 with the support of a courageous board of directors going against custom, the Jackson YWCA was declared open to all persons at all locations. When Mrs. Barnes retired from the "Y" in 1984, she reflected in an interview "I don't know of any other way I would have been associated with people of so many diverse cultures and races".

Barbara was active in many civic and faith-based organizations including: Mississippi Religious Leadership Conference, Church Women United, Mississippi Food Network and the Mississippi Chapter of Fund-raising Executives. She was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church and Northminster Baptist Church, where she was ordained as a deacon.

Barbara was a creative, strong and courageous woman of faith who will be remembered as a determined advocate for things she believed in. She was dedicated to family, both immediate and extended. She was an encourager to many, and she respected everyone as an individual.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her beloved husband of nearly 65 years, Dick. Barbara is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Dick Barnes, Jr., and Polly, Mike Barnes and Shelba, Philip Barnes and Cheri, all of the Jackson area. Survivors also include sisters Carolyn Campbell of Tucson, AZ and Sara Allen of Medford, OR, and sister-in-law Mae Alice Jones of Aurora, CO. She also leaves grandsons Jeff Barnes of Memphis, TN and wife Elaine, Dan Barnes of Madison and wife Leigh Ann, granddaughters McKinley Barnes of Ojai, CA, Emily Hobbs of Petal, Heather Cole and husband Peter, Carrie Duncan and husband Nat, Annie Gallegos and husband Saul and Merry Barnes all of Jackson, step-granddaughters Kate Thomason and Beth Thomason of New York, NY, Amy Robertson and husband Clay of Brandon, and Suzanne Landrum and husband Michael of Covington, LA. Other surviving family members are great-granddaughters Mary Michael Barnes, Avery Barnes, McKinley Hobbs, great-grandsons Joseph Barnes, Kai Barnes, Eddie Cole, Charlie Cole, Jacob Hobbs, August Duncan, and Grant Duncan, step-great-grandsons Will Robertson, Chris Robertson and Zachary Landrum and step-great-granddaughter Natalie Landrum, and many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to express our appreciation to the staffs of St Catherine's Village, Sienna II, and Odyssey Hospice for the care shown our loved one.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations in her memory to Calvary Baptist Church, 1300 West Capitol St, Jackson, MS 39203, or to a favorite charity.