William H Barnes

July 28, 1924November 14, 2020

Barnes, William Herbert "Bill" a native of Birmingham, age 96, born July 28, 1924 passed away on Saturday, November 14, 2020. He was proceeded in death by his wife Coquette Beran Barnes, his parents Olin Beall Barnes, Sr. and Aline Kelley Barnes. Two Brothers, Olin Beall Barnes, Jr. and Dr. Glenn Dixon Barnes. Bill attended Avondale School and Ramsey High School. He received his formal education at Central Washington College and the University of the South, Sewanee class of 1949 where he was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. He is survived by his two daughters, Lorraine Barnes Tirtwiler, Tracy Barnes Hayden, and son,William Herbert Barnes Jr.; seven grandchildren: William Bradford Barnes, Tracy Brewer Tutwiler, Kelley Allen Tutwiler, Marshall Lorraine White, William Alexander White, Christopher Ryan White, Daniel Beran Hayden and great grandchildren Noah Allen Chanthapanya, Liam Deth Chanthapanya. BIll Barnes started his flying career at age fourteen when he flew with World War 1 "Flying Ace" Eddie Rickenbacker. During the summer of 1942, he flew with the Civil Air Patrol over the Gulf of Mexico on antisubmarine flights. After graduation from Ramsey High 1943, He joined the Army Air Corps becoming a fighter pilot. When the war was over he flew with the Air Force Reserve the Air National Guard. Bill received the Glen Messer Trophy in 1994, the Jay Ginder, 'Spirit of Flight" award In 1999, the Birmingham Aero Club Special Recognition Award in 2001, and the Lurleen B. Wallace Trophy in 2002. On March 18, 2010 he received the "Master Pilot Award" from the Federal Aviation Administration for his outstanding contribution to aviation safety. After the war ended his father and mother gave the beautiful brass cross that is on the altar of St Mary's Episcopal Church in appreciation and thanks to God for the safe return of their three sons, Bill, Olin, and Glenn. Bill was an avid pilot and flew for more than sixty years. He was in the Home Furnishings Business and served on many corporate boards including the Atlanta Merchandise Mart. He was past president of The Alabama Furniture Travelers, The Beaux Arts Krewe, The International Home Furnishings Representatives Association, Olin B. Barnes and Sons and the Southern Museum of Flight. He was also past Commodore of the Lake Guntersville Yacht Club. His memberships included, The Birmingham Aero Club, The Southern Museum of Flight, The Beaux Arts Crew, The Newcomen Society, Friends of Avondale Park, The Birmingham Committee of Foreign Relations, The Birmingham Rotary Club, The Sewanee Club of Birmingham, The Club, The Birmingham Country Club where he was a member of the Killer Bees Dog Fight, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham Jefferson Historical Society, The Air Force Association, and the Air Commando Association. He was a lifelong member of St Mary's on the Highlands Episcopal Church and served on the Vestry. Bill and his wife, Coquette, through gifts of time, leadership and financial support have encouraged and helped many young children with their education in the city of Birmingham. Of particular interest was Avondale School. Bill had great love for his Alma Mater, Sewanee. A permanent endowment scholarship fund has been established and will provide scholarships to suitable young men and women. He was also a gifted speaker on World War II and gave his time to speak at schools, retirement homes, civic clubs and churches. The family will have a graveside service Elmwood Cemetery on Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 2: oo pm. In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to St. Mary's Episcopal Church or the Southern Museum of Flight.



  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, November 19, 2020

Show Your


William H Barnes

have a memory or condolence to add?

Patton Kincaid

November 17, 2020

William and Family

Please accept my sincere condolences regarding Mr Bill”s passing.
He was first and foremost one of the kindest gentlemen I’ve had pleasure to meet.

We both shared a love for our dealers and he obviously was a person a young inspiring sales rep looked up too

He was always helpful to me when I picked his brain about sales in home furnishings and what accounts to be sure to call on.
Although I met him in later the later stages of his career you couldn’t tell it.
I remember one week I was in Lafayette and Bill was so gracious to take me and William to experience a true Cajun meal along with Authentic zydeco music.

His son William went on to become a very dear friend and basically a roommate while I was in Birmingham traveling on business .

Bill once included me in a Family birthday Celebration as well.

Mr. Bill I know you have earned your true Angel wings ! God Speed sir !


Learn more about the Barnes name