James Wesley Barnett, 80, of Friona, TX passed away on Aug. 30, 2019 peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family. Wesley will forever be remembered for the amazing legacy he has left in the hearts of his family.
Wesley was born in Hereford, TX to Mildred and Fern Barnett on Jan. 6, 1939. He grew up in Black, TX and attended a one-room schoolhouse with three other students in his class, transferring to Friona Schools beginning in the sixth grade. He was an all-around athlete, excelling in track, football, baseball, and basketball.
He met the love of his life, Doris Jane McFarland, during his junior year in high school. They were married on Dec. 26, 1959. He was offered a baseball scholarship with the University of Arizona but decided to attended Texas Tech Institute where he was on the baseball roster. He studied mathematics and was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
Upon graduating from Texas Tech, they moved back to Friona where they raised their five children. Wesley went to work at Parmer County Implement House until he began farming in 1964. He purchased his first piece of land in 1965 and became a successful farmer and businessman. Wesley began flying private airplanes in the 1970s, earning both an instrument and commercial rating.
You could always find Wesley at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. sharp every day at a local establishment with his friends for coffee and conversation. He looked forward to Saturday morning breakfast with the men. He loved trips to Spencer Theater, Ruidoso, and Cactus Theatre with lifelong friends. He loved fishing, driving around the farm, and watching the windmills go up.
Wesley was an intricate part of the Friona community. He was involved in the First United Methodist Church administrative board, Friona School Board, National Cattleman’s Association board of directors, the Appraisal Review board, Texas Cattle Feeder’s board, Parmer County Wind board, and Broadview New Mexico Wind board. He had ownership in West Plain’s Feedyard, CattleTown Feedyard, and Paco Feedyard. He also had ownership in the Ford Dealership in Hereford and George and Barnett International Harvester in Tulia. He was on the Baseball board as well as being a coach. He was the Friona Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 1990.
Wesley was a successful businessman, but the proudest accomplishment of his life was his family. He attended every sporting event, concert, and recital for his five children. He traveled around the country to see grandchildren play tennis, volleyball, basketball, baseball, soccer, and anything they were involved in. As his family grew, he loved planning holiday get togethers so that everyone stayed connected. Arranging entertainment, transportation, food, and fun put an enormous smile on his face.
He is preceded in death by his parents, and one sister, Betty Jane Douglas.
Wesley is survived by his wife of 59 years, Doris; children Chris and his wife Renae from San Angelo, TX; Kyle and his wife Melissa from Salt Lake City, UT; Kim Barnett Martz and her husband Scott from Aubrey, TX; Ricky and his wife Erin from Friona, TX; and David and his wife Heather from Little Rock, AR., sister Judy Davis of Irving. Grandchildren are Morgan (Will) Lane, Macy (Harvey) Williams, John, Kyle, Delaney, Zach, Emily, Josh, Kendall, Wes, Grace, May and great-granddaughters Emma and Claire, numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Friona United Methodist Scholarship Fund, 301 East 8th Street, Friona Texas 79035.