Barnette R. Holston Sr.


Barnette Rhetta Holston Sr., also known as Barney, the son of the late Rosa Carter Holston and Ned Rhetta transcended this life on Feb. 17, 2013. He was born in Trafford, Ala. His parents moved to Colliers, W. V. and then to Wellsburg, W. V. At a young age he was adopted by his stepfather Joseph Holston and subsequently changed his name to Barnette Rhetta Holston.

Barney excelled academically graduating at the top of his class from Lincoln High School in Wheeling, W. V. and went on to further his education by receiving a Bachelor’s Degree with honors at West Virginia University, known at the time as West Virginia State College. Education was important to him so he continued studying at Case Western Reserve University, majoring in law but he never stopped learning. However he was not all work and no play. He was quite social being an active member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the men’s bridge club, The Columbians.

Barney’s education was interrupted several times when he was drafted in the Air Force and the Navy. Following his military service and attendance at several other universities, Barney began his professional life working at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Dayton, Ohio and Hampton, Va. He was a dedicated government worker devoting time at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) and the Department of Labor until his retirement. He met his beloved wife Helen Higgs in Hampton, Va., with whom he shared a loving partnership lasting nearly 50 years.

Barney accepted Christ at the age of 9 and was baptized in the Ohio River. He was always faithful to his Christian life and very active in all churches that he attended. He was ordained as a deacon at the First Baptist Church in Hampton, Va. and again at Coleville Baptist Church in Silver Spring, Md. where he also served as a trustee, usher and member of the choir. He loved music and even sang with the men’s Choir at the People’s Community Baptist Church.

Music was a big part of his life. An avid reader of newspapers, history books and novels, Barney shared his knowledge with his family. Traveling was a joy in his life. He and Helen traveled and cruised to many places in and outside of the U.S.
Barney was a very special person and a gift from God. He will always be remembered as a quiet, caring, loving and marvelous person who offered kindness to everyone he met. He leaves to cherish his memory: a beautiful wife,

Helen, two loving sons, Barnette Jr. and Byron, a lovely daughter in-law Jessica, two adorable grandchildren Cadence and Nathan, a sister, Betty Savage (Arthur), brother, Joe Holston (Van), a special family friend, Troy and a host of devoted relatives and friends.

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Barnette R. Holston Sr.

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