David Allen Barnes, 74, of Kokomo, Indiana, crossed the finish line at 1:03 pm on Friday, May 12, 2023. Dave fought through many health challenges over the years, such as congestive heart failure, throat cancer, a feeding tube, at least 10 cardioversions, 2 ablations, a bleeding ulcer and too many medications. To say Dave was a fighter would be an understatement; Dave fought until his final breath while surrounded by loved ones.
David was born on June 15, 1948, to Thomas and Helen Barnes in Clinton, Indiana. During his years at Clinton High School, Dave earned 9 Varsity letters in Cross Country, Track & Field and Basketball. He loved every sport but truly had a gift for running. During his high school running career, Dave held the school record for every distance from 200 meters to 2 miles, as well as, the 800 and 1600 meter relays. In his senior year of 1966, Dave earned the Senior Scholar-Athlete Award. Dave’s passion for running helped him become the first member of his family to attend college. After trying out 9 majors at DePauw University, he finally graduated with a BA in English Composition with minors in American Literature and British Literature in 1970. Dave earned 6 Varsity “D’s” at DePauw, 3 in Cross Country and 3 in Track & Field. He co-held the Cross Country 4-mile record at 19:30 and ran a 4:13 mile but placed 4th in that race. Given the teamwork involved in relay races, they always held a special place in Dave’s heart. Therefore, the record he was most proud of was the 4 x 440-yard school record set in 1969. This record stood unbroken for 49 years even though it was set on a much slower cinder track. Dave returned to this cinder track every year to play in the Little Italy Festival Bocce Tournament. Dave was proud of winning the State Title in Bocce with his brother John Henry one year, but his true legacy was to teach his kids and grandkids the sport of Bocce. As much as Dave loved bocce and running, he valued standing up for his ideals even more. Dave did not run Cross Country or Track his Senior year at DePauw to protest a coach’s impromptu “No Facial Hair (Mustache) Rule.” This rule lasted exactly ONE year.
In 1974, Dave began dating Mary Bogie and quickly realized she would be the love of his life. They were married on August 23, 1975. As the wedding ceremony was concluding, God blessed their union by painting a rainbow in the sky directly over the church. Blessings continued in the years to come as Dave and Mary welcomed four boys: Jacob, Travis, Zachary and Nicklus. Dave’s four sons became his world. However, he would always tell you Mary raised the boys while he coached them. He coached his sons on the importance of marrying the right person and was incredibly proud to welcome Tiffany, Stephanie, Kalee, and Raechel to the family. Having the opportunity to watch his seven grandchildren grow was the honor of his life and his motivation to keep fighting even when the physical pain became difficult to bear.
Dave enjoyed working, and he had a deep love for family and a passion for coaching. His passion for coaching led him to a life of teaching. He coached or sponsored many teams successfully, including basketball at all levels. He coached at Carver Center for 15 years, where Dave was known for equality with the same number of females and males on his teams. He also coached Middle School and JV basketball while serving as a Varsity Assistant in Boys and Girls Basketball for 12 years. He coached both Boys and Girls Varsity Cross Country for numerous years. In addition, he coached Varsity Tennis and even led the pom-pom squad. He loved leading those teams, but Dave’s primary passion was always Track & Field. He coached Boys for 8 years and then found his niche in Girls Track & Field where he stayed for 35 years in multiple roles at Kokomo High School. After serving as Varsity Boys’ Track Coach at Northwestern for 5 years, Dave moved to Kokomo High School as a Varsity Assistant in charge of sprinters and long jumpers. He then became the head Varsity Coach for several years until one of his former KHS athletes, Jill Stucker DeVoe, returned to lead the program admirably. He even became a daily volunteer coach for a while but was proudest of being involved with 15 IHSAA Girls Track & Field Sectional Championships in a 17 year stretch and the most special titles were those when the Lady Kats were listed as non-contenders by the local newspaper.
Dave had an amazing career starting as a proud conscientious objector right out of college and was assigned as a Child Care Supervisor at the Herrick House Detention Center in Bartlett, IL. He served as a Teacher and Coach at Dakota Schools in Dakota, IL. He spent a year as a Warehouse Manager for Radio Shack in Elgin, IL. From 1975-1980 Dave taught English and coached at Northwestern Schools. Dave worked for the Kokomo Tribune for 11 years between 1980-1992 with 1 year going to teach at Kokomo High School from 1988-1989. In 1992 Dave really started his lifelong job in Community Relations at Kokomo Center Schools where he would spend the next 31 years of his life pouring his heart and soul into his work. At Kokomo he impacted so many lives through being the Director of Communications, a High School English Teacher, a Basketball Coach, a Boys Track & Field Coach and finally, a Girls Track & Field coach which was a true passion until he took his last breath. Dave’s involvement in the Kokomo community has left a legacy that is beyond comparison. He served 4 years on the United Way Board of Directors, served 5 years on the Library Board of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library, served 5 years on the Goodfellows of Kokomo Board of Directors and served 15 years as an ex-officio member of the Kokomo Public Schools Education Foundation. He was the Co-Director of the Haynes Apperson Kids Track Meet for 20 years and Co-Director of the Pacesetter Community Fitness Event for 8 years. He was a Volunteer Youth Coach for 34 Years and an IHSAA Official for 25 Years.
Dave is survived by his wife Mary, his 4 sons and 7 grandchildren. Jacob (Tiffany) with Raegan and Ryland. Travis (Stephanie) with Grace and Lincoln. Zachary (Kalee) with Deshae and Jamika. Nicklus (Raechel) with Morrison. He is also survived by his 2 brothers and 1 aunt: George (Lea Anne), John Henry (Carolyn) and Pat Kasubjak. Dave was dearly loved by many cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his dad and personal hero Thomas Jr., his mom Helen, his brother Thomas III and his brother Mike.
Friends may visit with the family from 3 pm to 7 pm at Crossroads Community Church, 4254 S 00 EW, Kokomo, 46902, on Friday, May 19, 2023. A Memorial Service will be held at Kokomo High School’s Walter Cross Field, 2501 W. Berkley Road, on Friday, May 19, 2023, from 7:30-9 pm, where we will walk/run and remember Dave at one of his favorite places in the world, the Track. We will start “The Last Mile” Walk/Run at 8:45 pm to remember Dave’s legacy. Please don’t worry about dressing up, Dave would want you to dress comfortably and show your Kokomo Pride by wearing Red, White and Blue. Go Kats!!! Friends may also visit with the family at Crossroads Community Church on Saturday, May 20, 2023, from 1-3 pm with a Funeral Service immediately following at 3 pm. Burial Service at Barnett Cemetery will follow immediately after the Funeral Service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to allow Dave to continue anonymously providing running spikes to Kokomo runners, as well as, runners from opposing schools that “could use a little help.” You can leave donations, check or cash at any of the services listed above. You can also donate online at https://kokomoschools.kindful.com/?campaign=1251798. Please make checks payable to Kokomo Schools Education Foundation and if you are unable to attend any of the services feel free to send donations to Kokomo Schools Education Foundation at 1500 S. Washington St. Kokomo, IN 46902. Shirley & Stout Funeral Home & Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements. To view the full obituary and/or leave messages of condolence, please visit www.shirleyandstout.com.
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