• Aaron Hernandez left a message of eternal life as he willfully took his own life in prison - Aaron Hernandez was a gifted athlete who led a troubled life. But his suicide caught friends and family by surprise, a week after an quital in court on another case. ...
• Frosty the Snowman provided a chilly break from Florida’s warmer winter weather - Visiting up North was an experience that a Floridian could enjoy, but coming home to warmer weather makes one appreciate Florida. ...
• Women prisoners count their blessings on a tearful Thanksgiving at Lowell Prison - Visits on Thanksgiving were all too short at Lowell Prison where children were asking "Why can't I stay with Mommy?" Columnist Jack Strickland visits at Lowell and writes a riveting story about the emotions of the day as families got together all too briefly. He came away with both a feeling of sadness and of joy. ...
• “Souls to the Polls” march re-enacts history to inspire students at FAMU to vote in the election - FAMU students recreated history on Sunday with a march to the polls to demonstrate the importance of voting and to inspire students to vote in the national election. ...
• Florida women’s prison is nightmare as prisoners endure humiliation, poor medical care, rip-offs - Florida's major prison for women is an endless nightmare for those who have to endure the permanent psychological scarring that results from little privacy, no meaningful rehabilitation, general neglect of medical care by the prisons, and the rip-off of high prices for phone calls and items supplied by private contractors. ...
• Question is whether Adelson family was involved in Markel murder, and motives of the suspects - Questions remain unanswered about release of evidence and possible motives for murder - were suspects trying to extort money from Adelsons? ...
• Small explosion causes chaos at Florida A&M University - An explosion at the FAMU campus Thursday was actually a dishwasher catching fire. However it did cause a scare among faculty, staff and students at the Presidential Dining Hall. ...
• In a surprise appearance, Shaq has a ball inspiring neighborhood kids to dream big - A surprise visit by the former star basketball player to Gainesville and the police department brought out good feelings all around as kids got to play with superstar. ...
• ‘Cash register justice’ for the poor means no justice for many in Florida courts - Prosecutors now seek to extract fees from indigent defendents to help pay office costs, causing possible miscarriage of justice, says national justice center. ...
• If Jeb Bush ever really went to prison in Florida, he wouldn’t get a happy reception - The disaster of corruption, privatized prisons, and loss of competent leadership in state prisons is Jeb Bush’s legacy in Florida. ...
• Court fails to convict police officer in NC shooting death of former FAMU football player - Family pleads for calm as jury fails to find officer guilty in shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell in Charlotte; no decision yet on retrial. ...
• Carson wins best dressed while Trump brings up the rear in the clash of haberdashery at GOP debate - Who was dressed to win the recent GOP debate? Who wore the most stunning tie, and the best cut suit? Looks like neurosurgeon Ben Carson knows how to dress. Donald Trump, who sells a line of clothing, ironically finishes last. ...
• FSU could receive NCAA sanctions similar to those of Penn State sex scandal - Recent events will add up to more problems for Florida State University when NCAA and Title IX investigators report their findings. ...
• Gators end Florida State’s baseball hopes in big wins in Gainesville; on to the Series - Getting back into the College World Series was a dream for both teams, but the Gators managed to teach Florida State a lesson or two. ...
• Miracle of heart transplant puts ‘inoperable’ Rachel, 10, back in the arms of her new family - The dramatic story of how 10-year-old Rachel McCary got her new heart and a new chance to live is told by Jack Strickland who watched closely at the hospital in Gainesville while a miracle was performed. ...
|Lowest Gas Prices in Tallahassee|
|Tallahassee - Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com|
» By the numbers: How Trump stacks up after 100 days
» How artists are marking Trump's 100th day in office
» Former DNC chair slams Trump's 'irrational and extreme agenda'
» Trump: Don't worry, we'll build the wall
» Protesters take on Trump's climate policies -- and the heat
» EPA removes climate change information from website
» Del. senator slams Trump's N. Korea tweet: 'No longer reality TV'
» Democrats' Senate math problem
» Trump labels MS-13 public enemy No.1
» US yellow fever vaccine supply will run out this summer, CDC says
NPR National Headlines
» U.S. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, First Cuban-American Elected to Congress, Retiring Next Year
» How Lives On Both Sides Of Border Towns Have Changed Since Trump Took Office
» Barbershop: Trump's Contentious, Yet Symbiotic Relationship With The Media
» Trump Invites Controversial Philippines Leader To White House
» Trump Stars On Stage He Built Himself, Far From Washington
» President Trump's First 100 Days, In Photos
» The Los Angeles Riots, Race And Journalism
» Reporters Gather For White House Correspondents' Dinner
» Thousands March In D.C. To Protest Trump Climate Policies
» The Call-In: Your Stories About Veterans Affairs
CNN World Headlines
Colorful veteran George Barnes’ last words were “Don’t give up the ship”May 04, 2015
By: Jack Strickland
George Elmer Barnes passed away peacefully on March 26, 2015, at the E.T. York Hospice Care Center at Gainesville, Florida. He endured an extended illness caused by chronic heart disease.
The seasoned navy veteran went out in colorful naval style. He popped a smart navy salute, said “Don’t give up the ship!”, and drifted off into a permanent sleep as his ship of life sailed off into the sunset en route to eternity. He was 64.
The colorful life of George Barnes was shaped by his 30 years in the U.S. Navy. He served with distinction at the Pentagon and on several ships. His riveting tales of experiences on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal are memories that are cherished by his friends and fans.
He was born on June 8, 1950 at Hillsboro, Ohio. He was the middle child of five children in his family. When he was five a breakup between his parents caused him and his brothers and sisters to be sent to an orphanage. They bounced around children’s homes and foster care until he was eight. At that time they were separated and George was placed in a foster home on a dairy farm where he was a source of cheap labor. He loved the farm with it’s hard work. He stayed there until he was old enough to join the navy.
George was predeceased by the love of his life, Mitabe “Martie” Barnes. They met in Virginia while he was stationed at Norfolk. They were married 26 years. Martie remained the rudder on his ship of life until he died.
The study of history fascinated George. He was a trivia buff with a steel trap mind. He loved television game shows and usually knew the answers to questions that stumped the contestants. He was addicted to classic television shows that included The Andy Griffin Show, MASH, Hogan’s Heroes, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and most old westerns. Until the end, George’s infectious laughter delighted those around him as he viewed the old shows he has seen dozens of times.
George attended Westside Baptist Church in Gainesville. He treasured the friendships and fellowship he enjoyed there. He adored small children and dogs and they loved him. They flocked to him and enjoyed his company and entertainment whenever he came around. Three year old Jordan Thomas was his “Hero” at the time of his death. From Jordan he found love, joy, entertainment, inspiration, and courage as he faced end of life challenges.
A large pit bulldog name Kilo hovered around George during the last weeks of his life. When George was moved to a more advanced care setting Kilo ran away from home. George’s friends are absolutely sure Kilo is out there somewhere searching for George.
George’s final weeks were made comfortable by the kind and compassionate care of Haven Hospice. He formed a special bond with Ana, Jan, Tiffany, Joanna, and Pat. He treasured them and appreciated their excellent care and good work.
A treasured friend and mentor was his banker, Ryan Grady, who provided stability and wisdom in the old sailor’s sometimes hectic life. One of George’s last wishes was that Ryan and his wife be treated to an elegant steak dinner at George’s expense as a token of his appreciation.
George qualified for burial with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. That was his second choice. His first choice was for his remains to be placed in Florida near those of the ones he loved and cherished.
Several friends and fellow veterans spoke at a memorial service in his honor. He was remembered as a true patriot who served his beloved country with dedication. A parade of speakers shared memories of his compassion and concern for the welfare of all those around him. A common thread running through their testimony was accounts of a life well lived by a sailor who did it his way. His fellow veterans said it is typical of George and is appropriate that his last words were, “Don’t give up the ship!”