Fay W. Barnes, 92, of Boise, Idaho went to heaven on June 17, 2016. He was born June 22, 1923 in unincorporated Weissert, NE, the fifth of six sons born to Ralph and Myrtle (Bishop) Barnes. As a young child, Fay moved with his family to the Sunnyslope area of southwest Idaho. As a grade school boy, Fay had a paper route and began to distinguish himself by courageously dealing with aggressive farm dogs and as a businessman and salesman that eventually became his lifelong vocation. During summers, Fay worked with his father and brothers in mountain logging camps around Council, ID. A masterful storyteller, he recounted tales like holding his breath while a black bear scouted his cabin. He told of hunting rattlesnakes, building forts and riding the log wagon down the road to the mill pond and then watching the horse pull the wagon out and back up the mountain. He told of playing games with the men in the logging camp, and said his favorite game was running across the logs and purposely picking out a small one that would hold his weight but cause the men to go into the water. He learned to drive on mountain roads, which came in handy during WWII when commanding officers used his driving abilities to maneuver poorly maintained vehicles over crude roads and around tight switchbacks in the jungles of Burma and China. Fay and all five of his brothers signed up to serve in WWII, and all but one saw combat. It made news when a bomb landed next to a tent with 2 or 3 of them in it but did not explode. Miraculously all 5 brothers came home alive. Inducted on Jan 15, 1943, Fay served in the Army until honorably discharged on Dec 11, 1945. He then served in the National Guard of Idaho until June 1951. After training for mountain combat at Camp Hale, CO, Fay was deployed with the 7th Veterinary Company as a muleskinner supporting the Mars Company in Burma, tending the mules that transported artillery. He told of his trip around the world with the Army, leaving the west coast on a ship loaded with mules and sailing to Australia, then on to India. Once there, he left the sea and mules behind, taking a secret night flight over the Himalayas into the Burma theater without knowing his destination. After the war ended, he sailed back to the east coast, then traveled by train to his discharge location at Fort Douglas, UT. Once home, Fay married Wanda Jenkins on Sept. 8, 1947. He started a career in retail with Woolworths, later moving to Cornet. He served as a Cornet store manager, regional manager, then finished his career with as manager of their Vista Village store in Boise. After retiring, he took a position as a men’s clothing salesman at Anthony’s Dept Store at Five Mile and Fairview in Boise. One year he was among the chain’s top salesmen, and he and Wanda traveled to Oklahoma as a company bonus. When Anthony’s closed, Fay took a position at Hillcrest Country Club, leading the maintenance crew that kept the golf carts in top shape. He worked there until his 75th birthday, when he finally decided it was time to retire. At the young age of 49, he started riding dirt bikes and then started racing in the Desert races in Idaho. He was one of a group that started the Desert Raiders Motorcycle Club. He raced dirt bikes until he was 67 years old and stayed active in the club for several more years. Fay is survived by his wife of 68 years, Wanda Barnes of Boise, one son Dave (Kim) Barnes of Kuna, ID, two daughters Kathy (Matt) Hightree of Boise and Linda (Michael) Seefeldt of Stanfield, OR, six grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and brothers.
Services will be held at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at 11:00 AM, under the direction of the Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel, Boise.
1923 - 2016