Obituary Notice: William Joseph “Bill” Barnes

William Joseph “Bill” Barnes, 82, of Savannah, Ga. and formerly of Philipsburg, died peacefully Sunday, July 13, 2014, at Spanish Oaks Retreat and Hospice, Savannah, Ga.

Mr. Barnes was born Jan. 7, 1932, in Philipsburg, a son of the late Joseph Alexander and Lois (Dunsmore) Barnes.

He was preceded in death by one brother, John Alexander Barnes, in addition to his parents.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Martha Ann “Marty” (Jones) Barnes; two sons, Jeffrey Barnes of Savannah, Ga., and John Barnes of Melbourne, Australia; and four grandchildren, Carly, Cameron, Loren and Parker.

Mr. Barnes attended the Valley Forge Military Academy, Valley Forge; he was a graduate of the former Philipsburg High School.

He received his Bachelor’s degree from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, where he was a member of Band Company.

He entered the U.S. Marines after graduation. He retired with the rank of major from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

He later worked for the U.S. Department of Education as a special investigator and mediator.

In 2004, the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, he was part of a group recognized in a special ceremony in Washington. D.C. as a Civil Rights Champion.

Mr. Barnes was an active adult leader and past scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America while his sons were growing up in Atlanta, Ga.

After moving to Savannah, he was then a volunteer docent for many years at the National Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum. The last event he attended, before his illness took over, was a memorable flight for him in a World War II Era B-17, arranged by the Museum.

He was always interested in history and genealogy and he researched his family history through hundreds of years. He was active in the Scottish Highland Games.

He was a member of The Citadel Alumni Association, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, General Society of Colonial Wars and Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge.

As a young boy growing up in Philipsburg during World War II, he would ask returning soldiers for their extra patches and insignias, and this would spawn a lifelong interest in collecting World War II memorabilia. Parts of his collection are on loan to the Eighth Air Force Museum.

The family would like to extend its special thanks to all those at Spanish Oaks Retreat and Hospice for their compassionate and expert care.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, at Philipsburg Cemetery, with the Rev. William H. Moore, officiating. Military honors will be accorded by the Moshannon Valley Independent Honor Guard.

Remembrances may be made to Spanish Oaks Hospice, 8510 Whitfield Ave., Savannah, GA 31406.

Online condolences may be submitted to

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