James Barnhill, affectionally known as JB, passed away peacefully at his home on April 11, 2017. JB, a native of Meridian, was born on October 11, 1932. He was one of 15 children born to his mother, Mrs. Obera Seal Barnhill. JB was a 1951 graduate of Meridian High School. He joined the Mississippi Air National Guard shortly after high school and ultimately obtained the rank of Chief Master Sergeant working in the Photo Department (PPIF) and retiring after almost 40 years in 1992. While in the Air National Guard, JB also had a typewriter repair business for many years. After his Air Guard retirement, JB found his outgoing personality was a good fit in the office supply/sales industry, where he worked at Office Supply and Southern Business Supply in Meridian.
JB was a member of the E.J. Knox King Solomon Lodge #130, Meridian York Rite Bodies and the Hamasa Shrine. He was a lifetime member of Meridian Moose Lodge. JB was a beloved Deb Dad and reflected fondly on his many years associated with the Debs. He served previously as President of the Dalewood Property Owner's Association and was a past Board Member of the Toomsuba Water System.
JB never met a stranger. He was a splendid storyteller and had a thousand "tall tales". He loved a good joke. Favorite days were spent on his boat at Dalewood, where he taught countless numbers of kids to water ski. JB was eternally happy and easy with a smile or a laugh. His legacy will be his never-ending and amazing optimism.
JB was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Billy Barnhill, Cecil Barnhill, L.H. Barnhill, Dewitt Barnhill and Neil Barnhill, sisters, Lucille Lee and Myrtle Johnson and sister-in-law, Jane Barnhill.
JB is survived by his beloved wife, Patricia Duke Barnhill, daughter Kathryn Rust (Bob) of Pass Christian, MS, son Andy Barnhill (Tracy) of Meridian and step-daughter Sherri Grace of Meridian. He is also survived by grandchildren, Cameron Rust, Halee Winstead, Drew Barnhill and Baylee Barnhill, sisters, Nell Evans and Joann Bishop (Larry), brother, Paul Barnhill (Suzette) and sister-in-law, Fran Barnhill, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A private graveside service will be held in celebration JB's life. Robert Barham Family Funeral Home will be in charge of the arrangements.
Published on April 12, 2017