John “Johnny” Walton Barnes, 93, of Tecumseh, made his heavenly journey April 9, 2016, while visiting his son in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

John “Johnny” Walton Barnes, 93, of Tecumseh, made his heavenly journey April 9, 2016, while visiting his son in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 7, at the Citizen Potawatomi Chapel, north of the Citizen Potawatomi Health Clinic, with burial rites at the Wanette Cemetery following services.

Johnny was born Jan. 18, 1923, to parents John William Barnes and Lavina Laura (Muller) Barnes in Asher. He was the 12th of 13 children. He was preceded in death by his parents, all of his brothers and sisters, and two stepdaughters.

As a teenager, Johnny joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and worked on various projects, including some at Beavers Bend State Park, Smithville and Meeker, Colorado. He sent all but eight dollars a month back to his parents to help out as it was during the depression and money was tight. Johnny was very proud of his service and had good memories of his time in CCC.

He joined the Army seven days after Pearl Harbor. Following basic training, he volunteered for the new Army Air Corps, serving in support of three crucial campaigns in World War II against the German and Italian forces. He served in Italy, Sicily and North Africa, and was awarded three Bronze Stars, Good Conduct medal and three campaign ribbons.

Johnny was a proud WWII veteran and was instrumental in getting the state Honor Flights started for WWII veterans so they could see their memorial in our nation’s Capital. He was aboard the inaugural flight out of Will Rogers World Airport.

A member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Johnny was very proud of his Native American heritage passed down from his Muller family, one of the oldest and honored families of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

Johnny was very musically talented and began by listening, at a young age, to his father play the fiddle. He learned to play, along with his dad and brothers on the harmonica, and moved on to the guitar and fiddle. Johnny played no less than six string instruments and also wrote and sang bluegrass and country songs. One of his greatest joys was playing music with his many friends.

Survivors include his wife of 28 years, Pauline Opal Gibson Barnes, of Elk City; son Benny John Barnes and wife Linda of Bonners Ferry, Idaho; daughter Fanita Tucker of Kent, Washington; four stepdaughters and husbands, Paula and Paul Sims of Birmingham, Alabama; Katherine and Warren Lillard of Elk City; Pat Migliachi of Moore; Carolyn Rich of Shawnee; grandsons Ben Barnes of Idaho and John Mitchell of Kent, Washington; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, along with many friends and admirers of the special musical talents Johnny was given by his heavenly father.

P.S. Johnny: We are having a jam session in your honor with good friends J. B. and Norman White and other friends furnishing the music, and we know you will be playing along with them. Let the angels sing, too, and remember we are just a breath and heartbeat away. See you soon.