Donald Best Barnes, Sr.

Donald Best Barnes, Sr.

May 8, 85, Goldsboro

Donald Best Barnes Sr., 85, Goldsboro, died early Friday morning at Wayne Memorial Hospital surrounded by family.

Don was born in Wilson County, NC October 7, 1934 to the late Lucian Hadley Barnes and Minnie Howard Barnes. He was one of 6 siblings. He graduated from Elm City High School and attended Atlantic Christian College (Barton) in Wilson.

He was married for 63 years to Jackie Langley Barnes.

He served 6 years in the National Guard, 6 months active duty. Don had numerous careers. He was employed with American Credit Company for 15 years, where he became District Manager. He was employed with American Savings and Loan, which later became First American Savings Bank, where he became District Manager and City Executive for Goldsboro. He served as Chairman for Barnes Foods, a family business, for 14 years until its sale to Mission Foods in 1999. He finished his career as a Vice President for Mission Foods in 2004.

His volunteer civic work included serving on the boards of American Red Cross, Wayne Community College Foundation, Wayne Hospital, United Way and was a charter member of the Goldsboro YMCA board. He was appointed to the North Carolina State Finance Committee by Lieutenant Governor Jim Gardner. In 2000, he was named Wayne County Industrialist of the year.

Don loved Saint Luke United Methodist Church and was a faithful member for 46 years, serving on practically all committees, most frequently as finance chair.

His passion was as a high school and college sports official for 30 years. He officiated basketball and football and umpired baseball and softball. He was honored to be chosen to officiate the Shrine Bowl in 1990. He had fond memories of officiating for athletes and coaches and then took great enjoyment in following their careers and lives.

Don was an avid UNC fan and spent many fall Saturdays at Kenan Stadium cheering for the Tar Heels.

A private service will be held at Evergreen Cemetery.

Don is survived by his wife Jackie, a daughter Mitzi Barnes Powell, and a son Donald Best Barnes II and wife Nicole. Five grandchildren, Will Powell, Barnes Powell, Aimee Barnes, Langley Barnes and Donald Best Barnes III, a sister Ann Fitzgerald and a brother David Barnes, and wife Kathy, and too many nieces and nephews to count.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Saint Luke United Methodist Church, 1608 East Pine Street, Goldsboro NC.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at