Jim Barnes


February 27, 2015 - 12:00 AM

James Ivan Barnes died at home in Mulberry, Ark., Feb. 15, 2015, at the age 81 due to complications of primary progressive aphasia, from which he suffered for the last few years.
James (Jim) Ivan Barnes was born in Ottawa on July 20, 1933, the seventh child of eight born to Grover C. and Nellie A. (Dant) Barnes. His family moved to Smith Center, where he spent his young years, then returned to Ottawa.
Jim graduated in the class of 1950 from Williamsburg High School in Williamsburg. After basic training at Fort Chaffee, Ark., he served as an Army clerk in Orleans, France, where he was assigned for several years.
From a young age Jim worked in civil service. He was first employed with the U.S. Department of Soil Conservation in Franklin County as a surveyor. Upon returning from France he got his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Kansas University. He worked later with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, starting in Truckee, Calif., and then at the Engineering & Research Center in Denver, Colo. His work encompassed hydraulic and structural design of spillways and outlet works for concrete dams, specializing in stress and stability analyses on concrete arch and gravity dams. From 1975 to 1988 he worked at USBR as chief engineer in the Eastern Colorado Projects Office in Loveland, Colo., overseeing familiar projects such as the Horsetooth, Granby and Big Thompson. 
After retiring with the USBR he returned to his roots and was employed with the Kansas Department of Transportation as area engineer at the Iola office from 1988 to 2004. He had oversight of all construction of highways and bridges in Bourbon, Allen, Woodson and Greenwood counties.
Jim is survived by his loyal wife of 53 years, Gayle (George) Barnes. Gayle always admired his practicality, sound decisions, unconditional love for his family; and was at his side when he passed away. Jim and Gayle enjoyed hard work and playing golf together. They built a home in Loveland, where they lived until 1988 when they moved to Iola. In 2013 they moved with their daughter and son-in-law to Mulberry, Ark.
He is survived by his four children, Brenda (Barnes) Pumphrey, a bookkeeper and homemaker residing in Mulberry with her husband, Randy Pumphrey, who aided greatly with Jim’s care; Douglas Barnes, a stockyard cowboy and auctioneer residing in Greeley, Colo., with his wife, Jill, and son, Taylor James Barnes; Jason Barnes, a concrete product developer and full-time minister with Jehovah’s Witnesses, residing near Bollene, France, with his wife, Jenna, and Neill Barnes, the youngest son, and first grandson, Ethan Hawkins; and three brothers, Max Barnes, Watertown, Wis.,  Clyde Barnes, Springfield, Mo., and Joe Barnes, Kyle, Texas.
Jim was admired, appreciated and will be dearly missed by his family.

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