Entrepreneur Doyle Barnes Was a Southern Gentleman

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 04/20/2020 - 23:04

Barnes, Doyle M.
8/14/47 – 4/11/20

Born in Lubbock, Texas and raised just outside New Orleans in Morgan City, Louisiana, Doyle Mack Barnes of Saline, Michigan was the quintessential southern gentleman.  He embraced all whom he encountered throughout life, always ready to help someone in need. His heart was as big as his personality.

Doyle was born on August 14, 1947 to J D and Margie Earlene Barnes. He and his mother had an extraordinary bond. Never was there a more dedicated and loving son.

At 6 feet 6 inches tall, it wasn’t just Doyle’s personality that was larger than life. Following college, Doyle was recruited by the New Orleans Buccaneers where he was a power forward for several seasons. When Sherwin Williams approached him to join its team, he left basketball and found his true calling in sales.

Doyle valued education and received multiple degrees from Thomas Nelson College in Banking & Finance, Management, and Acquisitions & Procurement. In addition, later in life he earned a Bachelor of Arts from Spring Arbor University. He was a diehard University of Michigan football and basketball fan and loved to cheer on his Wolverines.

Doyle was an entrepreneur, founding and operating several businesses throughout his professional career including an oil and gas industry company. He also was the owner of Cooter Brown’s, a bar located in Morgan City.

In the 1990s, Doyle headed north, landing in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he ultimately was hired to work in the NSF Physical Testing Lab. It didn’t take long for his work and passion for sales to get noticed when Doyle was selected to join the sales team for NSF’s International Strategic Registrations. Doyle became NSF-ISR’s top sales executive and sales manager. He won the President’s Cup so many years in a row that they finally told him the cup was his to keep.

In his retirement years, Doyle enjoyed the continued friendship of his former NSF-ISR colleagues, including Christian Lupo, Dave Lamoreaux, Stan Hazan, and Don Freeman.

Doyle dealt with cancer, three strokes, and Parkinson’s with grace and a positive attitude. He was admired by all for how he handled his challenges. His unwavering love of life and his Catholic faith kept him strong. His favorite saying was, “You can’t hurt steel!”

But he couldn’t have endured these health challenges without the dedicated care and love of our home nurse, Michelle Krull. She and Doyle had the most beautiful bond. Her love for Doyle was a shining example of what it means to be a compassionate health care worker and an exemplary human being. She always had his best interests at heart, and he loved her like a daughter. She cared for him, took him on adventures, shared her beautiful girls, Ella and Ava, with us, and kept his spirit young. Those two were always up to something hilarious! She was his angel, and our family will love her forever.

While Michelle was our full-time nurse for the last six years, we also had the good fortune of receiving home care and continued friendship to this day from excellent nurses Loice Maru, Nyisha Marks Scott, April Harbach, and Andrea Black. Doyle loved them all.

Special thanks is also due to family friend Mike Koski, who was always there when we needed him, and our loving Thistle Down Farms neighbors, especially Ron Sizemore, the Marti & John Healy Family, Katie & Tim Reynolds and the sweet Portwood, George, Buchanan and Adkins children who would come by to walk Beau the Bichon and visit with Doyle. He took great joy from those conversations!

A heartfelt thanks also goes out for the incredible care Doyle received from University of Michigan House Calls, led by Dr. Grace Jenq. Dr. Jenq is a phenomenal physician who always showed empathy and love for Doyle. Nurse practitioners Stacy Russell and the late Emily Mueleman, along with House Calls’ Latechia Howard, all demonstrated great expertise in Doyle’s care.

Family was so important to Doyle. He loved his family and was immensely proud of his two sons and three grandchildren. He leaves behind to cherish his memory his son Christopher Barnes of Berkeley, California (partner Julie Monheit); son Gregory Barnes of Berkeley, California (fiancée Regina Zasadzinski); and grandchildren Miranda Smith of Richmond, Virginia, Sofia Barnes of Chewelah, WA, and Corbin Barnes of Berkeley, CA, along with his former wife and mother of his children, Rebecca Schoenberg (the late Chuck Schoenberg), and his former daughter-in-law, Stefanie Cole.

Granddaughter Sofia had a special place in Doyle’s heart, as she was so sensitive to his needs, always holding his hand and so happy to spend time with him. Both she and her brother Corbin shared their Papa’s basketball athleticism and he was proud of their accomplishments. His oldest granddaughter Miranda recently graduated college, giving Doyle enormous pride.

Doyle will be missed by his wonderful siblings Jaye Lynn Manuel (the late Jessie Manuel); Anna Lanier (Edward); and Dunnie Delaune (Diane), along with a host of nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.

Doyle was preceded in death by his parents, J D Barnes and Margie Earlene Delaune, his step-father Dunbar Delaune, his grandparents Annie Johnson and Lonnie Earl Seal, and his brother David Delaune.

More than 23 years ago Doyle had been engaged to Lucy Ann Visovatti but it wasn’t meant to be at that time. He sought her out eight years ago, saying he had an epiphany. She said she always knew he would return, and they became engaged once again. Their love was an inspiration to others, and each was eternally grateful and blessed that they had found one another again. Doyle was appreciative of the love and care Lucy Ann’s family extended to him, especially her brother Michael and her late parents, Frank & Honey.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place later this summer at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church with interment at Washtenong Memorial Park in Ann Arbor. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Nie Family Funeral Home.

Please pray for the repose of Doyle’s soul. Grant unto him eternal rest, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

Thank you all for your love and prayers. Please accept our prayers for God’s love and protection for each of you and your loved ones.

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