Cover photo for James Barnes's Obituary
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1925 James 2022

James Barnes

August 12, 1925 — March 31, 2022

James Paxton Barnes died on March 31 st at Mercy Hospice House at 96 years old. "Jim" was born in 1925 in Colorado Springs, to parents James R. Barnes and Harriet C. Paxton. Jim spent many summers growing up in Durango with his grandparents.

As a child, Jim enjoyed ice hockey, sledding, fishing, and camping. He loved the outdoors. Jim worked at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs as a young teen doing various jobs.

Jim joined the Navy during WW11 and served on the USS Converse destroyer in the South Pacific. His Company was the Beaver Squadron-406. Jim was honorably discharged in 1946. He was a proud veteran to have served his country.

Jim met his sweetheart, Norma during liberty in Santa Monica CA. Jim and Norma were married in 1947 and settled in the San Fernando Valley, CA to begin raising a family. Jim and Norma were socially active with other young families in the neighborhood as well as his family that lived nearby. They enjoyed music, dancing, games, and gardening.

Jim earned a living as furniture and piano refinisher and eventually opened his own business in Reseda, CA. He was well known for his craft, attention to detail, and perfection in refinishing and did many pianos for famous musicians in the southern CA area. He even refinished a piano for Liberace!

Jim and Norma moved back to Durango, CO in 1977 and bought and operated Bob and Bill's Trading Post by the NM state line. It was there that they reconnected with the CO family and made a living in the area. They eventually sold the trading post and bought a piece of property on the mesa. At that time they both began working for the Durango 9R school district as well as having a small gift shop at the mall. They loved living on the mesa with the beautiful views of the La Platas. They took pride in their home, having beautiful gardens and a well-maintained yard. Jim was a master at growing tomatoes and loved sharing with friends. Jim remained active on the property until the end of last year. He was a stellar man with a desire to keep on living his life his way, and he did just that

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, two siblings Judy and Harry, his wife Norma, and his first grandchild Mickey. He is survived by his three children, Mike Barnes (Shirley), Carol Hemminger (John), and Lori Brouner (Doug), 8 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, 3 great, great-grandchildren, and his beloved dog Pepper.

Cheers to a strong, good man and a life well-lived. Rest in peace, Dad: you've certainly earned it!

Memorial contributions can be made to Mercy Hospice House, Durango.






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