William C. Barney, 93, Columbia City, passed away Wednesday evening, July, 20, 2016 at Parkview Whitley Hospital as the result of a stroke he had at his farm.
Born April 8, 1923 in Whitley County, he was the son of Lester and Tressa (Smith) Barney.
Bill graduated from Columbia City High School with the Class of 1941. Shortly after graduation, he was drafted into the US Army Air Corps and was the last surviving crew member of the B29 aircraft, “Bockscar” directly involved in the Nagasaki Atomic mission. After coming home from the war, he married Phyllis E. Stickler in Columbia City on Nov. 28, 1946.
In addition to his lifelong occupation of farming, Bill was employed by the Whitley County Co-op in the 1950’s and 60’s driving truck for the delivery of farm supplies from Indianapolis to Columbia City. He was one of the founding members of the Thorncreek Twp. Volunteer Fire Department, past member of the Thorncreek Twp. Advisory Board and a past member of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) and Whitley County Farm Bureau. He is also a member of the Fraternal Order of Elks, Moose, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and American Legion. After the passing of his first wife, he married Cora (Bailey) Murphy in Warsaw on May 22, 1984.
Survivors include his daughter, Barbara (Joe) Clark, Fort Wayne; step-son, Robert (Gayle) Murphy, Pierceton; grandchildren: LeAnn (Jeffrey) Nome, Fort Wayne; Stephen (Samantha) Clark, Noblesville; and Amanda (Josh) Clements, Fort Wayne; four great-grandchildren: Kaia, Jase, Spencer Nome and Laela Harouff; and numerous step-grand, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Bill also leaves being two special friends that he would collaborate with, Rod and Rick Zorger.
He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife of 26 years, Phyllis Barney on Jan. 19, 1983; second wife of 30 years, Cora Barney on Oct. 18, 2014; foster brother, Wilbur Steadman; step-daughter, Judy Murphy; and three step-grandchildren.
Visitation is from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, July 24, at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Visitation will also be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday with Bill’s funeral procession leaving DeMoney-Grimes at 10:30 a.m. to Blue River Cemetery, where his funeral services with military honors will be rendered by his family, the U.S. Army and the Whitley County Korean War Veteran’s Honor Guard. Bill then will be laid to rest next to his first wife. Memorials may be given in his memory to the Historic Wendover Airfield Foundation.