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Joseph Grafton Barnes was born July 20, 1919 to Preston and Myrtle Barnes near Carthage
Mississippi. He passed away on January 27, 2023 at the age of 103.
Joe grew up near Carthage and received his high school education there. He furthered his
education and received his Bachelor's degree from Mississippi State University in 1948. As he
pursued different jobs in the field of teaching, he continued to enhance his own education and
eventually received a Master's degree with additional post graduate hours in administration.
During World War II Joe served 6 years in the U. S. Army. During this time he accompanied
troops in the invasion of Italy and Southern France. Having been wounded, he spent 33 months
in Army hospitals in various locations. He was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries received in
the line of duty, the Combat Infantry Badge and several other metals including the Bronze Star
for gallantry in action. He was one of the first in his battalion to receive a battlefield
commission during his time on the frontlines, and ended his stint with the Army as a 1st
In 2017 he received the highest award given by the Daughters of the American Revolution for
Valor, Service, and Sacrifice.
While recuperating from wartime injuries, he met and married an Army nurse, 1st lieutenant
Dorothy Kern. Joe and Dottie were happily married 42 years prior to her death in 1989. They
had two daughters, Linda Wilfling of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Julie Brown of Greenville,
He remarried and spent 32 years married to Gladys Welshans of Rosedale. Stepchildren,
Carolyn Welshans of Rosedale and Al Welshans of Hernando, affectionately referred to him as
For 33 years, Joe worked in the field of education, first as a teacher and later a principal and
Superintendent of Education. Nineteen of those years were spent in Rosedale before his
retirement in 1982. He gained the admiration and respect of parents, students, and teachers
alike, as he worked tirelessly to make the school system one in which everyone could be proud.
One of his greatest honors was to have the Joe Barnes Vocational Technical Center named in his
Joe was active in the Methodist Church in Rosedale, as well as being involved in civic affairs. He
served as chairman of the levee Street Clinic Board, chairman of the Rosedale Election
Committee, and a member of the board of directors of the First National Bank. He also served
as President of the Lions Club and Rotary Club president for two terms.
He enjoyed his family, many good friends, doing woodworking, yard and garden work. He also
enjoyed traveling, and during a visit to Italy, was able to revisit some of the sites he had seen
during the war. He also traveled to Japan and Germany to visit his older daughter and family.
Joe enjoyed good health and stayed active to a ripe old age of 103. He was preceded in death
by his parents and two brothers, Bernell Barnes and Norman Barnes, and step-daughter,
Carolyn Welshans. He is survived by his wife, Gladys, two daughters, Linda Wilfling and Julie
Brown ( Mike), step-son Al Welshans ( Suzanne). He also leaves behind two granddaughters,
Jennifer Hammons (Josh) of Senatobia, MS, Ashley Stogner( Shane) of Colorado Springs, CO,
one grandson, Marcus Schlansker (Lauren) of Seattle Washington, a step grandson, Michael
Brown ( Claudia) of Crestview Florida, three step grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and
two step great grandchildren.
A visitation will be held Tuesday January 31, 2023 from 1:00 PM until 2:00 PM at the Methodist
Church in Rosedale, MS. Funeral services will follow at 2:00 PM Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at
the Methodist Church in Rosedale, with burial following at the Beulah Cemetery. Brother
Marty Tubbs will officiate the services. The public is invited to attend.
Pallbearers are Bill Vetrano, Buddy McCreary, Jody Gibson, Robert Crump, Donny Caffey, Leo McGee, and Bill Lewis.
Honorary pallbearers are Porter Leftwich, Phillip Adams, and George Scott.
In lieu of flowers, the
family requests that donations be made to the Rosedale United Methodist Church P O box 69 Rosedale, MS 38769or any place
of your choice.
Cleveland Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. The online guest register
may be signed at www.clevelandfuneralhome.net.
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
1:00 - 1:30pm (Central time)
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Starts at 2:00pm (Central time)
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