McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK


April 27, 2014

Eudell Lafe Barnes

McALESTER — Eudell Lafe Barnes, 92, of Surprise, Ariz., died Thursday, April 24, 2014.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Brumley-Mills Chapel in McAlester with the Rev. W. Lee “Dub” Brown. Burial will follow at Memory Gardens Cemetery.

He was born on June 23, 1921, in Summerfield to Joseph and Lucy Barnes as the oldest of eight children. He graduated from LeFlore High School, where he played basketball and became a life long fan of the sport. The Duke Blue Devils were his favorite team, although he was also an ardent fan of the University of Oklahoma, since his daughters, both sons-in-law, and granddaughter graduated from there.

As a young man he was employed by the Civilian Conservation Corp and worked in projects in the Western United States. He was ambitious and went to Detroit, Mich., to attend welding school. He brought his future bride, Marveda Carmon Curtis to Detroit where they were married on Dec. 20, 1941. Shortly thereafter, he was drafted and served in the U.S. Air Force in the Pacific during World War II.  After the Armistice, he returned to Oklahoma with his wife and two young daughters, settling in McAlester where he lived for the next 67 years.

He initially worked for Jones Electric before forming his own company, Barnes Electric, Heating and Air Conditioning, which was active in the McAlester community until 2009. He reluctantly retired at age 87, having worked on hundreds of homes and businesses in McAlester, some customers of whom were still using his services at the time he retired. He was also involved in a number of other projects, including the McAlester Plaza and numerous homes and commercial projects with his long-time friend and partner, Leo Toone.

He was a life long member of the First Baptist Church, serving as a deacon and on a number of committees over the years. His wife and two daughters, Joyce and Carolyn, were most important to him and he was always ready to travel anywhere they lived to install an air conditioning unit or an extra electrical receptacle for them. He enjoyed his grandchildren Greg and Shannon, children of his daughter Joyce and her husband Gary Ryan. He even learned to ski with them in Colorado when he was 57 years old; he always regretted that the rest of his family gave up the sport long before he was ready to do so.

In his later years, he enjoyed most holidays with his family, including his great-grandchildren, Nick and Megan Hassler. In the last year of his life, Eudell moved to Surprise,, Ariz., to live near his daughter Carolyn, and her husband, B.J. Davis. His life could be described in three words: faith, family and friends.

He is survived by his wife Marveda Barnes, of Surprise, Ariz.; daughters and sons-in-law, Joyce and Gary Ryan, of Denver, Colo., Carolyn and B.J. Davis, of Surprise, Ariz.; grandson and spouse, Greg and Carolyn Ryan, of Austin, Texas; granddaughter and spouse, Shannon and Garey Hassler, of Denver, Colo.; great-grandchildren, Nick Hassler, of Denver, Colo., Megan Hassler, of Denver, Colo.; brothers, Shelby Barnes, of Edmond, Derral Barnes, of Irvine, Calif., Jerry Barnes, of Miami, and Aaron Barnes, of Norman.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Lucy Barnes, two sisters and one brother.

Pallbearers will be J.A. Allford, Bill Henley, Jim Cecil, Chuck McBee, Mike Pruitt and Doyle Copeland

Cards may be sent to Marveda Barnes, 18634 N. Paloma CT, Surprise, Ariz. 85387.

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