Mary Elizabeth (Hallauer) Barnes was born Sept. 13, 1930 in Ft. Worth, Texas. She died June 26, 2019 at the Denver Hospice being gently cared for by the staff there and her loving family. Mary attended public school in Breckenridge, Texas graduating from Breckenridge High School in 1949. She was an outstanding student at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas receiving her degree in Christian Education in 1953. She excelled in academics and athletics as well as in a variety of campus activities. She was a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and was elected “Miss Southwestern” which is the supreme accolade given to a student there.
Upon graduation, she became Director of the Children’s Christian Education Program at First Methodist Church Ft. Worth, which was known as one of Methodist’s “Flag-Ship” Churches. The pastor, Gaston Foote, often gave Mary pastoral assignments not ordinarily a part of her job description because of her ability to work well with people. She was known throughout the region for her excellence in conducting her duties at First Church.
She met James (Jim) Edward Barnes who was serving on the youth staff there and they were married in December 1955, in Breckenridge, Texas. The couple moved to Atlanta, Ga. so Jim could pursue a Master of Divinity degree at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
Mary worked at the Alpha Delta Pi Headquarters Office in Atlanta and taught school in Macon, GA. while Jim was finishing his degree. Throughout Jim’s ministry, Mary supported him in the work of the Church by serving where needed as Secretary, Custodian, Education Director, and even tending the flower beds at Trinity for many years. She used her skills in bookkeeping and finance while working in both Church and secular settings. Mary was intellectual, loyal, and always a loving Mother to their children – Eddie (1960) and Beth (1962). She delighted in her role as both parent and grandparent working with each child on homework and projects of all sorts. Each one got a special trip to Europe which gave Jim and Mary an excellent opportunity for building meaningful relationships with each one of them.
Mary was most happy pursuing her avocations – gardening, scrapbooking, tennis, bridge, and sampling the cuisine in a variety of Denver’s restaurants. She was gracious and welcoming to all who visited in the various Churches they served.
After Jim’s transfer from South Georgia to the Rocky Mountains, they served together with distinction at Park Hill Methodist Church (Youth Director), Applewood Valley Methodist Church, Littleton First United Methodist Church, and (for 18+ years) Trinity United Methodist Church - the oldest, most historic Church in Denver. Mary’s friendly temperament and relational talents were an integral part of the growth and prosperity of Trinity during those years. Mary’s input was an important part of what Lyle Schaller called, “The Miracle on 18th Street.” She served on the Board of several Church and Community agencies most notably The Rocky Mountain Credit Union and Frasier Meadows Manor Retirement Facility.
Jim and Mary led groups from their Churches on 22 trips to destinations all over the world giving lectures about the history, geography, and culture of each country.
After Jim’s death in 2004 Mary coped bravely with some health challenges and continued to care for and express her love for her family, friends, and the Church community.
A Memorial Service will be held on Sun. July 14th at 3:00 P.M. at Trinity UMC, 1820 Broadway, Denver, CO. 80202
Mary was preceded in death by her parents Margaret E. Hallauer and Roland H. Hallauer, her husband, James E. Barnes, sisters Jean (Morris) Steiner, Jane Jones, and Ann Linda Hallauer, Brother Roland Victor Hallauer and Brother-in-law Rolor Ray.
Survivors Include: Son – James E. Barnes, Jr. and wife Cindy; Grandchildren Amy Luhn and husband Jeff, Amber Lauthers and husband Jeremy, and James (Jimmy) E. Barnes III; Daughter Beth Barnes; Sister Alice Ray and numerous nieces, nephews and great grandchildren.
Memorial Gifts may be made to: Trinity United Methodist Church – 1820 Broadway Denver, CO. 80202
To send flowers to Mary's family, please visit our floral section.