US Air Force


Robert Eather Barnes

March 31, 1933 ~ December 21, 2018 (age 85)

Robert E. Barnes, 85, of Buchanan, Michigan, passed away peacefully on Friday, December 21, 2018, surrounded by many of his loving children and grandchildren. 

A Memorial service will be held 11 am Thursday, December 27, 2018 at the Boyd Chapel of Pike Funeral and Cremation Services, 9191 Red Arrow Hwy, Bridgman. Friends may meet with the family from 10 - 11 am Thursday, prior to the service. Online condolences accepted at

Born on March 31, 1933 to the late Ralph and Alice Barnes in Sears, Michigan, Robert "Bob" was proud to have worked in many different fields in his lifetime. As he often said, he would do anything and everything needed to take care of his growing family. Born on a dairy farm, he went on to work as a milk delivery driver, trucker, and auto mechanic. He was also a proud United States Air Force veteran who served in the Korean Conflict. After becoming a self-taught electronics technician, he traveled the country setting up radio stations, where he came to love country music and meeting many of the airwave stars. Later, he owned and operated his own repair shops, Barnes Radio & Television, in Traverse City and Cadillac. After moving to Southwest Michigan, where he worked for Heathkit Electronics and Bridgman Appliance Center, he again opened his own business on Lake Street in Bridgman.

In 1952, he married Delores Bartlett and together they raised five children. One of Bob’s many passions was square dancing. He became a caller, forming square dance clubs and calling dances statewide, nationally, and eventually internationally and wrote and released over one hundred square dance songs and records. After his separation from Delores, he married Shirley Martin and moved to Florida, where he continued to pursue his square dancing career, traveling to dozens of countries around the world. 

Bob was a caring man who loved his dog and cat and enjoyed planning and hosting family reunions, where his family would all gather at his home. He also loved the city of Buchanan, and often hosted free dinners for all city employees at Hilltop Café. His funeral is being held at the Pike Funeral Home-Boyd Chapel in Bridgman. We will always love and cherish him.

Robert is preceded in death by his parents, wife: Shirley (Martin), brother: Wesley (Eva) Barnes, and daughter: Diana Lynn Little. Robert is survived by his siblings: Ronald (Laura) Barnes, Wanetta Knowles, Linda Montague and Larry (Cindy) Barnes;  his children: Dennis Lee (Beverly), Denice Louise (Theodore) Hartline, Donald Leonard (Suzanne) and David Laurence (Judy) and their mother, Delores Barnes-Vincent.  He is also survived by many grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

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