William A. (Bill) Barnes 92, a retired State Tax Administrator, died March 15, 2013 at his home. Funeral services will be held 11:00am Monday March 18, 2013 at the chapel of Broadmoor Baptist Church, Madison, MS. Visitation will be from 9:00am till 11:00am at the church. Burial will be in Lakewood Memorial Park.
Bill was born July 15, 1920, in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was the second of seven children of Mr. and Mrs. Harris Barnes. He was a graduate of Clarksdale High School and of Bowling Green Business University, and a member of Pi Tau Nu, an honorary business fraternity.
On December 8, 1941, at the age of 21, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and was assigned to duty on the USS PC 590, a ship designed for both anti-aircraft and anti-submarine warfare. His ship escorted large convoys into the battle areas. He was a gunner credited with downing four enemy planes. His ship was badly damaged on the reefs of Midway Island and remained adrift at sea for sixty two days in remote parts of the Pacific, and was rescued by an American sub. Bill spent the last year of the war working under Dr. Igor Sikorsky, the developer of the helicopter.
In 2009 he received from the Commandant of the Coast Guard a public service commendation for a DVD produced on the Coast Guard's role in the Normandy invasion. At that time he also received eight combat medals earned during the war. He donated his dress uniform, numerous pictures, and artifacts to the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby. The museum honored him with a ceremony to which he was escorted by the Patriot Guard.
After the war Bill joined the Mississippi State Tax Commission, advancing through the ranks. At the time of his retirement he was serving as the Director of Revenue. He served on the Executive Committee of the Southeastern Association of Tax Administrators and on the Executive Committee of the National Tax Administrators. He testified before Congressional committees in Washington, DC on matters relating to Federal-State Taxation, authored papers, delivered speeches to tax organizations, and wrote tax law for Mississippi legislature.
After his retirement, Bill and his wife Frances escorted 62 tours to all parts of the world and the United States, and when not traveling enjoyed his life-long hobby of woodworking. At his death he was serving as a member of the Mississippi Council of Advisors, Respiratory Care Practitioners of Mississippi State Board of lHealth. He was a member of the Better Breathers Club sponsored by the American Lung Association, and enjoyed attending the meetings of the World War II History Club. Bill was a member of Broadmoor Baptist Church for 50 years and served for 8 years as president of the JOY Senior Adult group.
Bill is preceded in death by his loving wife of fifty years, Frances Mitchell Barnes; His parents Mr. and Mrs. Harris Barnes, Sr.; His brothers : Harris Hastings Barnes, Jr. and his wife Jamye Haskins Barnes; Jack Talley Barnes, Robert Burcham Barnes, Edwin James Barnes; and his only sister, Betty Barnes Gibbs, and her husband, John T. Gibbs. His sisters in law: Jewel Mitchell Coulter and her husband, Milton J. Coulter; Creola Mitchell George and her husband Jack George; Sue Mitchell Stafford and her husband Sam D. Stafford. Survivors include loving and caring daughter, Cynthia Sue Barnes of Water Valley, Miss. and loving and caring son, William Allen Barnes, Jr. of Madison, Miss., his brother, John Hughes Barnes and his wife, Ginny Smith T. Barnes, of Clarksdale, Miss; and his sisters in law, Mary Gaither Barnes of Tupelo; Jo Ann Barnes of Orange Beach, Florida, and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.
Memorials may be made to the Broadmoor Baptist Church Building Fund in Madison, MS