David Wiley “Big Ben” Barnes Sr. of Fairfield entered into rest on Aug. 3, 2022, in Fairfield. Funeral services were held Friday, Aug. 4, at Cowboy Heritage Church of Freestone County with Pastors Jimmy Cotton Jr. and Jimmy Cotton Sr. officiating. Interment followed at Bonner Cemetery. Pallbearers were Conrad Hagen, Kip Stuver, Jeff Yates, Bubba Brown, Bobby Thompson, Sid Lott, Tracy Betser, and Frank Bonner. Honorary pallbearers were the I-45 Coffee Crew and David’s fellow TU Mine Workers.
David was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 18, 1951, to Walter Cecil “Barney” and Nancy Ellen Barnes. He and his family moved to Fairfield just in time for him to start first grade. David graduated from Fairfield High School in 1970. On Dec. 21, 1972, he married Elizabeth Bonner.
David worked for Texas Utilities Mining Company for 34 years. He had a love of helping people and put that love to work in civil service in his spare time by being on the first volunteer ambulance crew in Fairfield; spending more than 30 years as a volunteer fireman, serving as fire chief for several years and fire marshal for a time. He even served as a reserve police officer for the city of Fairfield, the Freestone County Sheriff’s office, and the city of Teague, and spent a term on the Fairfield City Council.
David was a founding member and elder of Cowboy Heritage Church, where he showed his greatest loves outside his family for his Church and Children. He spent more than 20 years taking the children and the youth of First Baptist, Emmanuel Baptist and Cowboy Heritage Church to Latham Springs preteen and youth camps. He served as a Sunday school teacher, working with all ages from the nursery on up through the youth departments.