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TUPELO – A large timber in the forest of life has transitioned to his eternal home. Rob Barnes died Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at his sister’s residence. Rob was a longtime coach, athletic trainer, local musician and all around great guy in Lee County. He literally trained hundreds of young people (and some not so young) over his lifetime and felt very strongly that physical fitness would lead to mental fitness and a great quality of life. He had a benevolent heart especially for special needs kids. Rob taught and coached in the Lee County School System and Tupelo Public School System, retiring with 25 years. For the last 6 years had been assistant coach and trainer of athletes at Tupelo Christian Prepatory School, a place where he gave all and was beloved. Rob loved life and living, was an encourager and mentor to so many and was the #1 fan of Robins Field being utilized as a walking track and place for athletes to safely, day or night, train, walk and run. He was one of the co founders of the locally poplar Lane Chapel Quartet, which sang A Capella and entertained thousands over the years. Rob was born Feb 22, 1955 in Tupelo to Robinson and Viola Whiteside Barnes. He attended Carver many years and graduated in 1973 from Tupelo High School where he was a standout football player and ran track and was an early pioneer in racial reconciliation. He received a scholarship to Southwestern Oklahoma State University (Bulldogs) where he also played football and received his degree in Physical Education. He was a member of Springhill M.B. Church. Rob’s influence for good cannot be adequately expressed!! He cut a wide path, influenced his fellow man in glorious ways, and was one of the kindest, most pleasant and beloved citizens of our area.
Due to Covid risks, the family has requested a private service celebrating Rob’s Life to be held at 6 PM Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with his nephew, Burl Lee Sneed officiating and others speaking. Private burial will follow on Wednesday in the family plot at Mud Creek Cemetery near Saltillo. Rob’s friends may come by the funeral home between 3 PM – 6PM on Tuesday to pay their respects and sign the register book. The service may be viewed at 6 PM Tuesday via web at www.hollandfuneraldirectors.com/Live-streaming and will be permanently archived thereafter. Holland Funeral Directors is honored to be serving their friends.
Rob leaves to mourn his passing his four children, Thaddeus Witherspoon (Devena), Chris Clark and Isaiah Barnes Larry both of Atlanta, GA, and Constance Janae Shackelford of Miss. State University; his grandchildren; his sister, Essie Elizabeth Edison of Tupelo; aunts, uncles, cousins and other near relatives; and a large assemblage of grateful friends who will forever appreciate his walk amongst us. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robison and Viola; his daughter, Rayven Barnes, who died when she was 16; and his siblings, Shirley Jean Allen, Michael Thomas Barnes, and Linda Dee Barnes.
Memorials may be made to Tupelo Christian Prepatory School Athletics Programs, 5440 Endville Road, Belden, MS 38826, or Springhill MB Church, 593 North Green St., Tupelo, MS. 38801.