William M. “Mike” Barnes, 72, lost his battle with cancer on Friday, August 6, 2021 in Houston, Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is now resting in the comfort of his heavenly home.

    Born July 7, 1949 in Trenton, Missouri to William “Bill” and Ruth Towns Barnes, Mike graduated from Trenton High School in 1967 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Missouri–Rolla in 1971.

    After college, Mike worked for the Army Corps of Engineers on construction projects throughout Kansas and Missouri. He married the absolute love-of-his-life, Audrey Thaemert nee Peterson  in 1974, and helped to found Faith Lutheran Church in Warsaw, Missouri before moving to Kansas City, Missouri.  After 33 years of service to the Army Corps of Engineers, Mike retired in Wakefield, Kansas before moving to Wharton, Texas.    

  Mike loved his wife of 47 years with all his heart.  He loved Jesus and junk food, his kids, grandkids, square-dancing, hunting, fishing and friends.  He loved fixing stuff, leaving tools around the yard and starting new projects.  Mike never knew a stranger and put others before himself time and time again.  Whether it was donating blood, using his expertise as an engineer to help a friend, or mentoring foster children, Mike left this world better than he found it. 

  Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Towns Barnes and niece, Mesha Barnes.

  Mike is survived by his wife, Audrey Barnes, father, William “Bill” Barnes; daughter Holly and husband Dwayne Dornak, sons Christopher and Douglas “Lee” Barnes, daughter Katie Barnes and partner Darius Gray; grandchildren Skylar, Cadence and Luke Dornak, Christopher Jr., Brett, Christian, Hailey, Douglas Jr., Tyler  and Brighton Barnes, Anna Scanlan, Anthony Salyer, Darius Jr. and Kaylynn Gray; great-granddaughter Huxleigh Barnes; sister Dianne and husband Michael Moulin, brother Robert Barnes, brother Douglas and wife Kyle Barnes; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and friends.    

   The family invites you to remember Mike by joining them for a come-and-go celebration of his life at the home of Dwayne and Holly Dornak, 619 County Road 420 El Campo, TX 77437 on Friday, August 13 from 4-7 p.m.  Memorial services will be held Saturday, August 14, 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 614 Pecan Street, Wharton, TX 77488.  Mike will be laid to rest in a private burial service.

       In lieu of flowers, the family encourages you to send donations to S.H.A.R.E., Wharton County Interfaith Coalition, 229 W. Milam St, Wharton, TX 77488.  

   “For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39.