Kenneth JC 'Cowboy' Barnes

Oct 8, 1923 - May 25, 2013


Kenneth JC “Cowboy” Barnes

Kenneth JC “Cowboy” Barnes, 89, of Elk Grove, passed away Saturday, May 25th, 2013 in Sacramento, CA.

A memorial celebration will be held at the United Methodist Church, 8986 Elk Grove Boulevard, Elk Grove, CA on Sunday, July 14th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

Kenneth was born in Bull’s Gap, near Mosheim, Tennessee, to Ross and Esther Barnes on October 8th, 1923. He graduated from high school in Red Cloud, Nebraska in 1943. He then proudly served in the United States Marines from 1943-1946. After receiving an honorable discharge, he came to California where he met the love of his life, Edith Ann Eck, whom he married on December 19th, 1948. Kenneth retired from SMUD in 1983 after working 33 years. He was a member of Toastmasters International and a pack leader for the Boy Scouts of America. Kenneth was instrumental in the creation of the SMUDEA campground at Union Valley Reservoir, CA, where he was a gifted and beloved story teller, known as “Chief Red Cloud”. Kenneth was very active in the United Methodist Church, sharing his faith in the way he lived. He was also known by many as the ‘Toy Man’ for creating and giving wooden toys to support youth activities and to the Jessie Baker School in Elk Grove.

Kenneth is preceded in death by his parents, Ross and Esther; brother, Leonard Barnes; and sister, Donna Eck.

Kenneth is survived by his sister Delores Frances of McCook, Nebraska; sons Kevin and Kyle Barnes of Elk Grove, CA; daughter Kerri Lynne O’Connell of Ione, CA; grandchildren, Elizabeth Reed, Kayla Barnes, Kenneth and Kelsea O’Connell; and great-granddaughter, Tempest Reed.

Memorials may be made to Jessie Baker Elementary School, 8850 Southside Avenue, Elk Grove, CA 95624 – or – EGUMC youth group, Elk Grove United Methodist Church, 8986 Elk Grove Boulevard, Elk Grove, CA.


  • June Morris says:

    I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the Barnes family. It is never easy to find the right words to say but may those precious memories of your dear loved one be foremost in your hearts and minds along with this wonderful promise at John 5:28, 29 were it says that soon our loved ones will be resurrected to life. As we await the fulfillment of this promise may the “god of all comfort, comfort you” 2 Corinthians 1:3.

  • LuAnn & Vince Nyvall says:

    Daddy..We will always love you. May your loving spirit live on in each of us. You are the BEST! When you see all of those who have past before give them our love. You are going to be so missed by all of us. Love you to infinity and beyond. Vince and Lu

  • Stella Chavez says:

    Dear Cowboy, Thank you so much for sharing your stories. I sure miss you up at the campground with all your teasing & all your loving ways. A lot of the children are already asking for you. Love you always. Stella

Sign the Guestbook

Your email address will not be published.

ERROR: please select I'm not a robot!