James Weldon “Bill” Barnard was born on September 28, 1925, near Cave In Rock, Illinois, to Joe Gentry and Myra Alma Milligan Barnard. He was one of nine children.
On December 31, 1946, he married Norma Jean Holbrook in Morganfield, Kentucky. Bill and Norma have lived near Cave In Rock all of their lives. Bill and Norma had three sons: James Deon, Larry Weldon, and Dennis Keith.
Bill was a baptized believer in Jesus Christ on June 27, 1954. He joined the First Christian Church of Cave In Rock where he was a Sunday School teacher and Elder. He was a member of the church for almost 69 years. When he departed this life, we know God said to Bill, “Well done, good and faithful servant;…enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Bill first attended Love School until he was 13 years old when his parents bought a farm on Hall Ridge near Saline Landing. He then attended St. John School. He graduated from Cave In Rock High School in 1943. After graduation he helped his dad on the farm until 1945. He was hired at Rigsby and Barnard Quarry by his oldest brother, Rad. He worked there 51 years. He retired in 1996 when he was 71 years old. He purchased the family farm in 1962 after his father retired. He operated his cattle farm up to the age of 87.
Bill was preceded in death by two sons, Deon and Denny; one granddaughter, Lora Dunstan; his parents; four brothers, Rad, Winfred, Jesse, and Ray Barnard; and three sisters, Verdna Austin, Irene Kaegi, and Opal Frailey.
He leaves to mourn his wife of over 76 years, Norma; his son, Larry (Carole); two daughters-in-law, Janet Barnard and Becky Barnard; 7 grandchildren Travis Vaughn, Dana (Jeff) Robinson, Gina Shaffer, Quentin (Samantha) Barnard, Holly McDaniel, Samantha (Jeff) Winters, and Jade (Mark) Crowell; 14 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; one sister, Laura (Bill) Switzer; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, April 23, 2023, at First Christian Church of Cave In Rock. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the First Christian Church of Cave In Rock or the Cave Hill Cemetery.