Eugene Wilson Barnette, 87, of Fleming Island, FLa., passed away on Saturday, July 28, 2018. Born Aug. 3, 1930, in Nashville, Tenn., “Gene” was the son of the late Wilson Barnette and Annie Erleen Barnette.
Eugene retired from the Navy with 20 years of service. In the twilight of his naval career, he earned a business degree from Jacksonville University and went on to have a successful career as an independent State Farm Insurance agent in Atlantic Beach, Fla. He was active as a 32nd Degree Mason, Shriner, Navy League and Kiwanis member. As an accomplished long distance runner, Gene participated in dozens of marathons including the Boston, New York and San Francisco marathons. His adventurous spirit led him to become a certified open water diver, snow skier and private pilot. Another passion was restoring antique British and German sport cars and U.S. military jeeps. He enjoyed traveling with his wife in their motor coach across the U.S. and spending summers at their home in Dillard. While living in St. Marys, they attended the Kingsland United Methodist Church.
Eugene was preceded in death by his loving wife of 62 years, Jeanette “Sam” Arleen Barnette, and son, Eugene Wilson Barnette Jr.
Survivors include his sons, Michael A. Barnette (Evelyn), Jack T. Barnette (Sheila), David L. Barnette (Kim) and Rodney S. Barnette (Beth). He was a grandfather of six and great-grandfather of three.
A committal service with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24, at the Jacksonville National Cemetery with Pastor Bruce Vaughn of Kingsland United Methodist Church officiating.
Arrangements by Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home of Mandarin, 11801 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32223, www.hgmandarin.com, (904) 288-0025.