Obituary - Melvin E. Barnes

   Melvin E. Barnes, age 94, passed away Friday, August 14, 2020, at Hickory Manor in Licking, Mo.  He was born March 22, 1926, to Winfred H. Barnes and Mabel (Buck) Barnes in Licking. Melvin graduated from Licking High School in 1944. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1948. He returned to his hometown and began a 40-year career in education. He taught agriculture to WWII Veterans for one year and then became the high school vocational agriculture teacher at Licking High School.

On December 25, 1950, Melvin married Marie McClure. They were the parents of three children, Karen, Sara and Stephen. Melvin and Marie worked together on their dairy and beef farm for many years. Melvin loved his registered Jerseys.

Melvin had the ability to develop relationships with students, building their self-confidence and motivating them to excel. He enjoyed coaching many FFA basketball teams and ping pong tournaments. Melvin also enjoyed providing students travel experiences to Chicago, Waterloo, Kansas City, Columbia, the Missouri State Fair and St. Louis Cardinal games. He was proud to have coached 36 state winning FFA judging teams. Eleven of the teams placed first in the National Contest and another 11 placed second.

Melvin was a member of the Masonic Order, Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shriners, and Order of the Eastern Star, serving as Worthy Grand Patron in 1988-89. He was a lifetime member of the Licking United Methodist Church, serving as lay leader, Sunday school superintendent and teacher. As a member of the Gideon organization, he found pleasure distributing New Testaments to fifth graders.

Following retirement, Melvin continued his involvement in the Licking Schools by serving on the school board for 12 years.

Melvin was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Edwin and Dean; and sister, Betty Sukstorf. He is survived by Marie, his wife of almost 70 years; his children, Karen Branstetter and husband, Dennis, Sara Lane and husband, Phil, and Stephen Barnes and wife, Cindy; as well as grandchildren, Jennifer Branstetter, Melissa Valenciano, Andrew Branstetter, Hillary Handy, Eric Barnes, Corey Barnes, and Meredith Mason; and nine great-grandchildren, Cecelia, Ruby, Dezi, Eisley, Isabel, Luca, Brinley, Milo and Bennett. He is also survived by one sister, Jean Paris and husband, Milton of California.

A private family service was held at the Licking United Methodist Church on August 18, 2020 with Brother Brock Davis officiating. Interment followed at Boone Creek Cemetery.  Pallbearers were Corey Barnes, Andrew Branstetter, Dennis Branstetter, Phil Lane, Dakota Mason, and Joe Valenciano. Memorials in Melvin’s name may be made to Hickory Manor or Licking United Methodist Church. Arrangements entrusted to Fox Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at



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