Cover photo for Donald Duane Barnes's Obituary
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1968 Donnie 2024

Donald Duane Barnes

July 18, 1968 — February 23, 2024

El Paso

Donnie Barnes, 55, of El Paso, Texas was welcomed into heaven by our Lord and his angels on Friday, February 23, 2024. He was surrounded by his loving family as he donned his wings and soared away to be with our Savior.

Donnie was born on July 18, 1968 in Westminster, California but always maintained that he got to Texas as fast as he possibly could.  A proud alumnus of Andress High School in El Paso, Donnie joined the army shortly after graduation in 1986. He served with distinction in the Gulf War and was an unapologetic patriot who strongly supported the United States and its military throughout his life. He expressed his love of country vocally and through his actions, including flying the stars and stripes at his home each day.

Following the army, Donnie continued to serve his country and community, working as a firefighter first in El Paso and later in  McDonough, Georgia. He went on to earn his nursing degree from Gordon State College, taking pride in continuing to make a difference in the lives of others. He next earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and put his BSN skills to use as a critical care nurse, notably in the cardiac cath lab and cardiac ICU. Even while battling his own health issues, Donnie went on to earn his Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia, becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), working most recently in that role at Memorial Hospital in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Throughout his career as a first responder and health care professional, Donnie was highly respected for his dedication and expertise. Both his colleagues and his patients admired Donnie not only for his knowledge and skill, but also his compassion and humor. He felt strongly that a little humor could go a long way in easing the fear and anxiety that patients often feel before surgery.  His practice of sharing his “joke of the day” always put a smile not only on the faces of his patients, but also on those of the physicians and staff, giving everyone the feeling that things were going to be “okay.”

Donnie will be waiting in heaven for his wife Lori. Donnie felt blessed to have shared his life journey with Lori for more than 30 years. He bragged to friends and family that he had married the most beautiful woman on the planet and was not shy about telling people that Lori was the love of his life and his soul mate, often referring to her with a twinkle in his eyes as his True Love, his Ride-or-Die, and his only Get-Away Driver.  They enjoyed spending time with family and friends, listening to music together, exploring antique shops and swap meets, two-stepping the night away, attending concerts, playing with their dogs, taking walks in the park, and fierce but friendly competition while watching Wheel of Fortune.

In heaven, Donnie will also be awaiting his daughters, Alyse Ethridge (David) of Meansville, Georgia, Brandi Miller (Jack) of Teague, Texas, and Paige King (Kevin) of Bixby, Oklahoma, as well as his seven (soon to be eight)  grandchildren: Jaxson Alexander, Annagail Ruth, Wynter Zoey, Kyson Jack, Yvaine Dawn, Rhett Duane, Stetson “Sonny” Judah, and – coming in July – Lainey Jane.   Donnie was immensely proud of his children, telling everyone that they were his greatest joy and most significant accomplishment.  

Others who will someday be reunited with Donnie in heaven include his parents, Jack and Rilla Barnes, his brothers Curt (Maria) and Carl (Brenda) Barnes, aunts, uncles, nephews, cousins, and countless friends (Donnie recently joked that when it came to friends too many was not enough).  

Donnie had a gregarious personality. He lit up every room he entered, making everyone feel a little bit better. He was quick with a joke and always had a song on his lips. He loved playing guitar and had a great voice, usually singing country music, though he could rock out from time to time, too. He did an especially amazing Elvis—complete with lip snarl.  He brought down the house (and a lot of tears, including his own) in a heartfelt rendition of “Butterfly Kisses” at his youngest daughter’s wedding. He is surely the newest member of the celestial choir’s “twang gang.” Donnie was beloved (and yes, spoiled) by all who knew him, and the world is a better place because he passed through it.  He is on to heaven now. Hope they’re ready up there for some shake ups.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Duane Barnes, please visit our flower store.


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