SHELBURNE, MA - Michael Paul Barnes, 78, died April 22, 2023, at Baystate Franklin Medical Center following a period of declining health. Born June 8, 1944, in Montague, the only child of the late Edward and Josephine (Perry) Barnes of Gill, MA, Mike was a graduate of Turners Falls High School, Class of 1962. He served honorably in the United States Army from 1965 to 1968 as a Nike Hercules missiles technician and married Cora Jane Hurlburt of Northfield, MA, and Schenectady, NY, following his discharge.
A man of restless intellect, Mike reinvented himself several times, from auto parts salesman to machine shop supervisor to purchasing agent to photographer to state employee with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. He honed his talents through extensive reading and related coursework at various colleges, including GCC, Hampshire College, Niagara Community College and the University of New Hampshire. As a teenager, he was a volunteer fireman and muster team member with the Gill Fire Department and as a senior citizen, a constable for the Town of Shelburne. His passions were fishing, the automobile, especially building high performance engines, photography and history, in that order.
He leaves his wife, CJ, of 54 years, a son, David Barnes of Barrington, NH, and a grand dog, Dutchess. Following the harvesting of tissue he wished to donate, his request to be cremated will be honored.
Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home, 40 Church St., Shelburne Falls, is handling arrangements. A gathering for family and friends to share memories will be held on Sunday, April 30, from 3 to 4 pm at the funeral home, with a reception to follow in Fellowship Hall of Trinity Church. In lieu of flowers, remember Mike by taking a friend fishing this spring or consider making a donation in his honor to St. Jude Research Hospital for Children; St. Joseph’s Indian School, Chamberlain, SD; or Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center in Conway, MA.
Maybe God has a bigger plan for me than I had for myself. Like this journey never ends.—Nicholas Sparks
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