Jack R. Barnes
Jack Randal Barnes, Founder
April 7, 1950 - December 28, 2018
Jack Randal Barnes passed away Friday, December 28th peacefully at home with his family by his side. A Celebration of Life Service was held on Saturday, January 19th, 10:30 a.m. at Arden Road Baptist Church in Amarillo, Texas, hosted by America-Celebrate, Honor & Serve.
Jack was born April 7, 1950 and was raised in Perryton, Texas, graduating from Perryton High School in 1968. He enlisted into the US Navy, August of 1971 and served until 1975. Following his discharge, he returned to West Texas A&M University and obtained his Bachelor of business degree in 1978. After graduation he returned to the Navy and eventually retired from the US Navy as a Chief Petty Officer in 1995. A very special highlight of his Navy career was his selection as National Recruiter of the Year while stationed in Amarillo, Texas. After retirement, Jack continued serving, as a High School Math Teacher at Tascosa High School in Amarillo, Texas, retiring in 2009. A highlight of his teaching career was being selected to teach for several summers at Johnson Space Center for the NASA Aerospace Scholars program. This was a weeklong program at Johnson Space Center where selected students are encouraged to study math, science, engineering and computer science by interacting with engineers and hands on at JSC. Jack was a member of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Aviation Committee, 1982-1985 and founder of the Texas Aviation Historical Society in 1987. He served on the Board of Directors from 1987-2005 and was President in 2005. Jack was also a member of Amarillo Downtown Kiwanis Club, 2007-2010 and was named Kiwanis Member of the Year, 2009.
Being an avid sports fan, Jack was a referee for high school football and every Friday night for more than 20 years he could be found calling games all over the Texas Panhandle. He also refereed basketball for middle and high school.
Jack had a passion for honoring our military and veterans and bringing awareness of their service. He was the Founder of the America Supports You – Texas (ASYT), in 2005 which was a citizen support organization in Amarillo, TX, with a mission of proactive support to the military and veterans across the Texas Panhandle, and the state of Texas. After 9/11, his organization honored our military, veterans, and the families of the fallen by hosting an annual Armed Forces Day Celebration & Banquet. This event grew and was easily the largest event in the state of Texas on Armed Forces Day. This special event has continued each year since 2005 until 2018. ASYT was recognized as Outstanding Community Service Organization of the Year, 2011 and Outstanding Non-Profit of the Year, 2012 by the Canyon Chamber of Commerce.
With the completion of the WWII Memorial, in 2004, Jack led the initiative in organizing Honor Flights to Washington DC, honoring our WWII, Korea and Vietnam veterans. The maiden Honor Flight left Amarillo for Washington DC in September of 2008 for an all-expense paid 3 days and 2 nights for all veterans. Under his leadership, the 2012 Texas Panhandle Honor Flight was selected as the “premiere” Honor Flight in America. Jack stepped down from America Supports You Texas in 2012.
In 2013, Jack joined the Board of Directors of the American Fallen Warrior Memorial Foundation, AFWMF. The mission of the AFWMF is to build the National War on Terror Memorial & Museum, in Kansas City, Kansas, honoring the 8,000 plus casualties of the War on Terror. He served as President of the Board of Directors until stepping down in 2018.
He is also a member of the Texas Navy Association and led the Amarillo, Texas Loop 335 Highway Project, designating Loop 335 as “Veterans Highway.”
Jack was Co-Chair of the WT Veterans Memorial Committee and worked to get the WT Veterans Memorial constructed and completed on the campus of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. The Memorial was dedicated to Fallen students and graduates of WT on November 9, 2018.
In the fall of 2016 Jack founded a new organization, America-Celebrate, Honor and Serve (ACHS). ACHS is a public service organization founded to honor and support those who serve and sacrifice for our community and country. The organization proudly supports our Military, Veterans, Law Enforcement, Firefighters and First Responders in the community. ACHS participated in local parades with a flag brigade, organized by Jack, hosts a Memorial Day Run for the Fallen and in October hosted the first annual Iwo Jima Memorial Flag run at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Other events include the recent third Annual Military Holiday Party for our local Active Duty Military and their families, to include a meal and a visit from Santa for the kids.
Jack’s most recent accomplishment was spearheading the drive to obtain the Congressional Gold Medal for the survivors of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. In World War II the U.S.S. Indianapolis CA-35 ship was hit by Japanese torpedoes, after delivering the atomic bomb components to Tinian Island in the South Pacific. Of the 1,197 crew members aboard, only 317 survived after 5 days and 4 nights in the Pacific Ocean. One of the 14 living survivors is his dear friend, survivor Cleatus Lebow from Memphis, Texas. The two-year project passed both the House and Senate in Congress and was signed into law by the President on December 20, 2018. Jack’s drive and determination to complete a very monumental task was never more evident in this mission.
Jack’s favorite quote was “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our community and country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude and support. America should never forget their service and sacrifice.” Harry S. Truman
His proactive support of the military and veterans in our community of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle and entire state greatly exemplified his commitment to this quote and to never forget. He will be greatly missed. Every time you spot a yellow ribbon on a coat lapel or hat, remember Jack, as that was his signature.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Joyce (Smith) Barnes. He is survived by his two children, son, John Randal (Randy) Barnes and wife Tisha of Perryton, Texas, and daughter, Rena` Salek, of Murrieta, California, and four grandchildren. Taylor and Tanner Barnes, Bailey and Brooke Salek, brother Robert Barnes and wife Diane of LaPorte, TX., sister Beverle Barnes and Larry of Southern California, and twin brother John and wife Cheryl of Longview, Texas, along with several cousins, nieces and nephews, and a host of many friends whose life he touched.