Arthur H. Barner, 99

Funeral services for Arthur H. Barner, 99, of Springfield, were held March 2, 2021, at Greenlawn Funeral Home in Springfield. Mr. Barner died peacefully on Feb. 24 at his home.

He was born July 12, 1921, in Pontiac, the son of Sam and Ida Wilbanks Barner. After graduating from Gainesville High School in 1941, he enlisted in the Coast Guard and served as a personnel officer from 1943 to 1945. On May 19, 1946, he married Retha Jones of Isabella. They later moved to Springfield to begin a career and family.

Mr. Barner began his 40-year career in banking at Citizen’s Bank (Commerce) in 1947, serving on the management staff. He obtained a Certificate of Business Administration from Drury College and attended the Bank Auditing School at the University of Iowa.
While working at Commerce Bank, he opened branch offices at North Glenstone and Chestnut Expressway and at Battlefield and Fremont in Springfield.

In 1976, he joined Empire Bank and opened the North Kansas Expressway branch office. He retired as vice president and manager of this location.

Mr. Barner served in many community and business organizations. From 1958 until 1960, he was president of the Springfield Commercial Club and served as a committee member rewriting the Springfield City Charter during the 1960s. In 1968, he was president of the Southwest Missouri chapter of the Bank Administration Institute, advancing to state director in 1970-1972. 

He served as a board member of the Greene County chapter of the American Cancer Society 1969-1986 and as president of the North Springfield Betterment Association  in 1985-1986.

Mr. Barner joined the Kiwanis Club in 1973, advancing to president of the Battlefield Kiwanis Club and later the Springfield North Kiwanis Club. He achieved the lifetime membership award in 1985; he was also given the Kiwanis Legion of Honor for 25 years of service and later received the Les Mace Fellowship award for his 40-year commitment to the Springfield North Kiwanis Club. 

After retirement Mr. Barner enjoyed expanding his lifelong passion for bass fishing to include research work for the Missouri Department of Conservation and Tom Mann’s Fish World of Eufalla, Alabama. 

He enjoyed traveling with his wife Retha, BS her sister Jeri Kelley and husband Don.  

Acquiring a lake house on Table Rock Lake was a lifelong goal, and it became something that was enjoyed by the extended family, giving Mr. Barner many days of fishing and relaxing with Retha and boating with the grandkids.
 One of the highlights of his later years was his participation in  the Honor Flight to Washington DC with other World War II veterans and receiving an award for patriotic service from the state of Missouri in recognition of his bravery and sacrifice during the war. He enjoyed regaling family and friends with stories of growing up on a farm, childhood pranks, yodeling to get Retha’s attention and avidly reading books on history and wars, and biographies of generals. He was a member of First General Baptist Church, Springfield.

He is survived by his son Wendell Barner and wife Ellen of Steubenville, Ohio; his daughter Joyce Allen and husband Mike of Joplin; granddaughters Nichole Harvey, Brandi  Frisbee and husband Nick, Stephanie Howard and husband Josh, and grandson Chris Allen and wife Lisa; eight great-grandchildren; brothers Bill, Gerald and Fred Barner and sisters Laverne Dutcher, Mary Ruth Laron and husband Si, Danny Kaye Barner, and Carolyn McCorkle. 

He was preceded in death by his his parents; by Retha, his wife of almost 60 years; brothers Elza, Gene and Jim; sister Elsie Alcorn; and son Richard and daughter-in-law Donna (McCracken).

Burial was in Eastlawn Cemetery in Springfield. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society in honor of Mr. Barner’s longtime service to the organization. (Mail checks with memo “funds to stay in Springfield, MO” to P.O. BOX 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.)  

Greenlawn Funeral Home, Springfield, directors.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423