Harry John Barina Jr.
August 25, 1943 – February 9, 2020
Harry John Barina, Jr. or John, as he was known, was born in San Angelo, Texas on August 25, 1943, the son of Harry and Alpha Barina. John graduated from Richland Spring High School before entering Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. John was injured playing football for the Lobos, causing him to miss a semester. Receiving a draft notice and after deliberation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He completed Basic Training in Mississippi and then served at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas for four years. Proud of his service, nevertheless, John desired to settle down with his new wife and two sons. John left the service and moved his family to San Angelo, Texas, to attend Angelo State University. During this time, John studied business courses and took care of his young sons, while his wife worked double shifts. Upon graduation, he received an offer to work for General Telephone Corporation where he was frequently taken away from home for days at a time. Wanting a career that would keep him closer to home and family, John studied real estate and received his license before opening a real estate business in San Angelo. During this time, John considered law school after meeting an attorney and getting exposure to the practice of law. Law appealed to his meticulous nature. After much deliberation and debate, John moved his family to Temple, Texas in order that he could attend Baylor School of Law. He made many lifetime friends at law school. He made the 45 mile trip every day for 24 consecutive months. Being a devoted family man, John never missed a baseball game or swim meet that his children were participating in, while driving 45 miles to Baylor every day. He often had to return to Waco after hours to study at the law school library. Upon graduation, he was fortunate to work for Arthur Coleman (Cappy) Eads, the 27th Judicial District Attorney. It was rare that Cappy hired an attorney with little to no experience. John deeply admired Cappy and he loved his time as a prosecutor. He remained friends with people he worked with at the District Attorney’s Office for the rest of his life. He left once to cash out his retirement to put his children through school. While in private practice, he worked for Daniels, Secrest, and Barrett. He was later chosen by the Bell County Commissioners Court to be the Presiding Judge of Bell County Court at Law 2. He continued to serve in that position for 18 years, after a number of re-elections by Bell County voters. He retired from public service to take care of his wife and small grandson. He continued to serve his legal community by serving as a member of the board of the Bell County Lawyers Association. In 2002, John was recognized and honored as the Bell County Lawyer of the Year. He genuinely enjoyed getting to know the young lawyers who served with him. It was in 1962 while at Bergstrom Air Force Base that he met Dionisia Gonzales. They married in 1964 and stayed in love for 48 years, until her death in 2013. John Barina died on Sunday, February 9, 2020, in Temple, at the age of 76. He was the oldest of 3 children. He was proud of his sons and had a special place in his heart for his grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and his oldest son, Samuel John Barina. John is survived by his son, Bobby Dale Barina and grandson, Joaquin Barina of Temple, daughter in law Tricia Barina (widow of Samuel Barina) of Bryan, Texas, granddaughter Tristen of Austin, grandson Garrett of Houston, Texas; sisters Edith Anderson and her husband Jack of Cleburne, Texas and Elaine Barina and husband Johnny Adams of Smithville, Texas. He had a large extended family on his wife’s side including her many brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. A loyal friend to many, John touched more lives than can be imagined. He was reserved, preferring to listen rather than speak. He could make someone feel like the smartest and most important person in the room with his quiet and contemplative demeanor. His reputation as a Judge for fairness and impartiality was known throughout the state. Five years ago, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. As always, John fought through multiple surgeries, and he went into remission. Two years ago, cancer returned in his liver and his lungs. He spent over 50 days in the hospital and rehab before he was able to return home. He fought as long as he could to spend as much time as he could with family. While the toll on his body mounted, he never lost sight of the blessings he had received. He lived at home until the last two days of his life. Those who knew him knew he loved the outdoors, hunting across the globe. He loved his dogs, and they were a constant in his life. He also loved his church family and was an active member of Saint Luke’s Church and served as a Knight of Columbus. His spiritual relationship with God was a constant in his life. He was fortunate to travel overseas with members of the church and they made some of the most meaningful relationships of his life.
A Funeral Mass for John will be held 11:00 AM Wednesday, February 19, 2020, at St. Luke’s Catholic Church, 2817 Oakdale Dr., Temple. Committal Service with military honors will be at 3:00 PM Wednesday at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. A time of visitation and fellowship will be 6:00-8:00 PM Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Temple, which is in charge of the arrangements.
- Visitation Tuesday, February 18, 2020
- Funeral Mass Wednesday, February 19, 2020
- Committal Service with Military Honors Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Harry John Barina Jr.
February 18, 2020
Judge Barina was a great man and a great friend. I would like to share my most precious memory of his kindness; I was one of the assistant coordinators for his Court but I was going nowhere. One day he walked into the office and took me to the side and asked how I was doing. I hesitated and he asked if I was happy where I was. Then pushed on and told me that Judge Johnson was hiring and he thought I would enjoy a new challenge. Judge Barina took me down personally to Judge Johnson ‘s office and told him that he would be crazy not to hire me on the spot! I got the job and he was so right I loved the new adventures. I was sad to see him retire and heartbroken at his death.
February 18, 2020
Judge Barina was an important and valued influence in my life personally and professionally. I admired and respected him from my earliest days in Bell County. I will miss you Judge Barina, and I will always remember you. Judge Barina leaves a great legacy to guide all of us. We all should aspire to live life as he did. May God grant eternal peace and rest to His good and faithful servant.
Yolanda Cortes Mares
February 13, 2020
Hon. Barina was the reason I joined many fine colleagues on the court appointment “list” in Bell County almost 20 years ago. Being relatively new to Bell County, I walked into the courthouse one day wearing blue jeans, not intending to speak to a judge, just to file a document. I was told I had to speak to him in his chambers and there he was, wearing his black robe. As soon as he met me, he told me I had to get on the “list”, rose quickly from his chair and said “follow me”. I was worried. I didn’t know what the “list” was! He quickly led me through the public hallway (I was certain I had done something wrong, by the speed that we were walking in!) to another office and told Jennifer to put me on the “list”. Then, he quickly walked away and I found out what the “list” was. I’ll never forget that day. Serving the community as a court appointed attorney has been the most fulfilling professional experience of my 30 year career. I would not have embarked on this path if it hadn’t been for meeting Judge Barina that day. Oh yes, and he asked me later on that year from the bench, looking over a stack of Motions I intended to file in a criminal case, “you’re a civil lawyer, aren’t you?”. Ha! He never lost his sense of humor. May he Rest In Peace and may happy memories shine bright for his family during this time of sorrow.
February 11, 2020
John was just a few years older than my mom, his Aunt Glenda. In planning her 50th birthday party I called John to invite him to share memories of my mom for her "Memory Book" I was putting together. We talked for almost 2 hours! He lived across town from me, at the time, and we always said we needed to get together. I ended up moving away, and never got the chance. After that, the only time we saw each other was at funerals - "we gotta stop meeting like this" we'd say... well, John... I guess this will be the last time we will "meet like this". RIP! We're all going to miss you.
February 11, 2020
The Judge was a dedicated public servant. After his retirement, he volunteered on the Temple city advisory board for police and firefighters. He passed out hearing assistive devices in the church narthex before Mass, and collected them afterward. His presence was warm and wise.
Lester Van Huss
February 11, 2020
Even when the times were few, I never missed a chance to talk with John. My love goes out to his family, friends and those he leaves behind. Rest from your earthly journey cousin as you enter into the waiting arms of our maker.
February 10, 2020
Met John working the Lent fish fries. Learned real fast he liked to tease people. I moved here from CA. That says it right there. Use to love hearing his hunting stories and how he loved Alaska. He truly was one of the most caring and sweet individuals I have ever meet. Truly a great friend that I will miss.
February 10, 2020
I always enjoyed the stories and jokes he would tell. It was always fun meeting with him . He will be missed.