George Emerson Barnes

September 11, 2022

George Emerson Barnes, 82, of Pensacola, FL went home to be with the Lord after passing peacefully at home with loving family and friends on September 4, 2022.

He was born on November 15, 1939, in Northampton County, NC. His sense of adventure began early in childhood and continued into adulthood when he joined the Navy in 1958 at the age of 18. He advanced to E-9 in only 14 years…always a 4.0 sailor and a 1% Chief. He met the love of his life, Claudette, who was a Navy WAVE herself, in Corpus Christi where they were both stationed. He was fond of saying “the Navy issued him a wife.” They had two daughters, and the Navy took them to Puerto Rico; Jacksonville, FL; the Philippines; Washington, DC; Pensacola; and the Philippines again, where he served as Forces Master Chief for COMUSNAVPHIL and then retired in 1980 after 22 years of honorable service. The family returned to Pensacola where he completed a BS in Business Admin at UWF. He then began a second career with the U.S. Postal Service and retired after 19 years at age 62.

He was an active member of Scenic Heights Baptist Church (later Potential Church) where he made many wonderful friends. Three of his golfing friends from Scenic Heights Baptist (Rolan, Charlie and Howard) have welcomed him to complete their foursome in Heaven. His good friend Don was waiting for him with a fishing pole.

Along his journey he learned to scuba dive, golf, league bowled, flew small single engine aircraft, and of course kept fishing. At 62, he and Claudette purchased an RV and took many trips out West and usually spent six weeks each winter in Key West. At 74, he parked the RV at Lake Talquin in a 50’s era style fish camp and took up serious fishing. He lived his life to the fullest. Over the course of his life, he visited all 50 states, numerous countries, five continents, and sailed four of the seven seas. He was a strong Christian man who was happy, had a great sense of humor, and was fun-loving. He loved God, his country, and his family and friends dearly, and he was loved by everyone who met him due to his sweet spirit. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, and a blessing to everyone in his life. He has left a void that cannot be filled. As one friend said, “He has written a great novel that affects us all.”

He is preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Virgie Mae Barnes; his brother, Robert; sister, Jean; as well as one granddaughter, Sarah Anne Mullins.

He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Claudette Holbert Barnes; two daughters: Shari Cooper (Todd), and Kelly Sullivan (Kim); four granddaughters: Jessica Ridley (Andrew), Paige Mullins, Dori Cooper and Kaylee Potter (Mark); one great-granddaughter, Aveline Ridley; one sister, Rosa Mae Byrd (Hoyt Charles); and one brother, Walter Barnes, along with numerous extended family and friends.

Visitation will be held at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel on September 13, 2022 beginning at 11:45am until the funeral service to begin at 12:45 pm. Interment will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery at NAS Pensacola with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Covenant Care Hospice, 5041 N. 12th Ave, Pensacola, FL 32504.

The Barnes Family would like to express a very special thank you to Dr. Lewis, Navy Hospital; all the great doctors and nurses at Baptist Hospital, especially Dr. Thornton, and last but not least all the wonderful nurses of Covenant Care Hospice, especially D.J., and all our wonderful friends for their outpouring of love.


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